Emile the crawfish officially pardoned, season begins

Emile the crawfish officially pardoned, season begins
(Source KSLA)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - One lucky crawfish was spared from boiling in a special ceremony Tuesday.

Emile the Crawfish was officially spared from future backyard boils when Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and Zatarain's paired up for the second annual "Pardoning of the Crawfish" in New Orleans.

This event celebrates the beginning of crawfish season in the Gulf South.

The crawfish of honor was dubbed Emile after the founder of Zatarain's who first introduced seafood boil mixes in the 1920s, according to the news release issued by Zatarains.

Emile originated in Kaplan, Louisiana and was selected for this honor by crawfish farmer, Barry Toups. The fortunate crawfish was then whisked away to the New Orleans Jazz Museum, brought down the red carpet to the soundtrack of a live zydeco band and placed in a regal habitat to receive his official pardon from Nungesser. The Louisiana Crawfish Queen was on hand to congratulate Emile on his newfound freedom.

"With Louisiana crawfish representing more than 90 percent of the domestic U.S. crawfish supply, we felt it important to free Emile from crawfish pots, etouffees, poboys and anywhere else people around the country enjoy crawfish this time of year. Emile is sure to enjoy his freedom in our beautiful state park along Bayou Segnette," said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser.

"Zatarain's has been making crawfish irresistible for nearly a century," said Claude Davis, Principal Product Developer for Zatarain's. "Last year, we produced enough boil seasonings to perfectly flavor over 165 million pounds of delicious crawfish. So, it was important for us to give back to the crustacean community by creating this annual event and making sure Emile is never 'a meal!"

According to the news release, Emile was released in the Bayou Segnette State Park by Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries to live out his days burrowing in the mud, foraging for food and determining which nomenclature he prefers, "crawfish," "crayfish" or "mudbug."

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