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Al Scramuzza relishes the flavor of his freshly boiled crawfish at his home in Metairie on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014.

Advocate Photo by Sherri Miller

Al Scramuzza’s “Seafood City, Very Pretty” television commercials hawking crawfish became a thread in the cultural fabric for New Orleanians of a certain age.

Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser recalled those memories Wednesday in presenting Scramuzza with the 2017 Seafood Champion Award during the closing luncheon at the Tourism Summit in New Orleans.

“Al Scramuzza was and still is a staple in the Greater New Orleans area for fresh, local Louisiana seafood,” Nungesser said. “His dedication to promoting and championing Louisiana seafood since he opened Seafood City is insurmountable.”

Scramuzza began Seafood City in 1950. He popularized boiled crawfish with a flood of memorable, if kitschy, television and radio advertisements in the 1970s and 1980s for his store on North Broad.

View his favorite commercial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyjK3ODPhfE 

The Seafood Champion award was established this year, and it will become an annual award during each year’s tourism summit. The award highlights someone from around the state who not only sells Louisiana seafood but has a passion for promoting the Louisiana seafood industry, Nungesser said in a press release.

“His mentoring and personal guidance through the years have served me well. I couldn’t think of a more deserving recipient for this award than ‘Uncle Al’,”said Louisiana Seafood Board Chairman Chalin Delaune.

The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board was created by the Louisiana Legislature in 1984 to support the world-class commercial fisheries industry in Louisiana while responding to changes in the marketplace and in the environment. The board is composed of members appointed by the lieutenant governor representing all sectors of the seafood industry.

Follow Mark Ballard on Twitter, @MarkBallardCnb.