America’s relations with Germany have soured lately because of tensions between President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
But maybe America can get back in the good graces of its European ally by sending a delegation from Louisiana to teach Germans how to catch and enjoy crawfish. A recent news story suggests that Merkel’s people could really use the help.
As National Public Radio reported this week, two parks in Berlin have been overrun by Louisiana crawfish. The crawfish somehow made their way into waterways at the recreation areas, quickly multiplying and causing mischief. Now numbering in tens of thousands, the mudbugs have clambered out of a lake and onto the walking paths used by park patrons.
In Louisiana, we don’t call that a problem; we call it dinner. Germans are trying to make a meal out of their menace, too, but with limited success.
Homer Simpson’s latest (animated) visit to New Orleans may have spurred some cravings. At Mahony’s Po-boys, it inspired a new dish.
First, Berlin park officials released eels into the lakes, hoping they’d eat the invasive crustaceans. But the predators the Germans recruited apparently didn’t have a Louisiana appetite. The crawfish population has grown exponentially — so much so that the Germans are now trying to eat the crawfish themselves.
It’s been a struggle, though. When a Berlin food market hosted a Louisiana-style crawfish boil last month, serving up the critters with corn and potatoes, customers balked.
“This food requires too much work,” German diner Erika Klugert told NPR. She prefers shrimp that are already peeled.
We’ll concede that crawfish consumption is a high-maintenance affair, something best done over a newspaper-lined table while wearing clothes that can handle a stain or two. Beer helps ease the process along, an indulgence that Germans, who love a good brew or two, should be able to get the hang of.
Peeling and eating crawfish takes time, but that’s part of the fun. In a speed-addled world, crawfish boils remain as a reminder that most good things can’t be rushed.
But in the meantime, the waters of Berlin are teeming with crawfish, a challenge that calls for special expertise. It might be time for the Cajun Navy to suit up for service.