It seems upon arriving in New Orleans you are immediately indoctrinated to “pinch the tail and suck the head”. This isn’t bawdy happenings on Bourbon Street, but rather a lesson on how to eat Crawfish.
Oh the humanity! Tiny spicy lobsters!!! These are the infamous Crawfish AKA mud bugs, crawdads, mudpuppies, crayfish, yabbies, head suckers (I made the last one up.) These are boiled in a spicy hellbroth which fills their every nook and cranny with spicy goodness. The broth is doctored with gobs of cayenne, thyme, oregano, dill, allspice, coriander etc. This even comes as a spice mix; look for crawfish boil seasoning from your favorite spice purveyor.
The trick to eating these is to twist the tail from the rest of the body giving it a light pinch as you pull the meat out with your teeth. This is the fabled "pinching the tail", I usually have a totally different picture in my mind when I think about pinching a tail.
Next is the really dangerous part… You put the opening to the head in your mouth suck the juices out while pinching the head like you are squeezing a sponge. Don’t suck too hard, or the hellbroth will fill your mouth, throat, and lungs. This is exactly as painful as you think it is.
The most dangerous part of this enterprise is while your lungs and chest is radiating a heat that cannot be quenched without drowning, you have to keep your mind of the fact that molten crawfish brains are in the organ you require to breathe.
Lather, Rinse, Repeat, 2-3 lbs are a nice meal.