As Louisianans prepare for crawfish boils this weekend, one lucky crawdad won’t be in a sack. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser teamed up with Zatarain’s to pardon a mudbug. He says the crawfish was set free in Bayou Segnette State Park to live out his days safe from crawfishers’ nets.
“We figured if the President of the United States can pardon a turkey, we can pardon one lucky mudbug every year,” Nungesser said.
Nungesser says of the more than 120 million pounds of crawfish we eat every year, they thought it was only fair to set one free. He says the pardoned crawfish was appropriately named Emile after the founder of Zatarain’s, who introduced boil mixes in the 1920s.
“So in honor of him for all those great spices that make the crawfish so delicious because we wouldn’t eat them fresh out of the ground without that great seasoning,” Nungesser said.
Nungesser says every year, the pardoned mudbug will be named in honor of someone who contributes to the industry. He says it’s a tradition that will continue on the first Tuesday after Mardi Gras every year.
“Hopefully we’ll have another lucky crawfish that’s out there this year that can escape the nets and we’ll take one lucky crawfish next year and pardon it as well,” Nungesser said.