Breaux Bridge native releases crawfish history book

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

BATON ROUGE - Author Sam Irwin, a Breaux Bridge native, was uniquely positioned to write Louisiana Crawfish: A Succulent History of the Cajun Crustacean.

It is the book on Louisiana’s crawfish history.

The book became available in the better bait shops and bookstores Feb. 18.

Irwin’s grandfather, Joe Amy, was one of the pioneers of the crawfish business. According to some accounts, Amy was dealing in crawfish from his Henderson location of Amy’s Fisheries in 1932.

The author worked at Amy’s as a crawfish laborer in between semesters as he earned his master’s degree in history from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. 

In the fish dock he witnessed the shift of the Atchafalaya Basin’s fish-based economy to one dominated by the crawfish market.

Louisiana Crawfish is a penetrating dissection of the important role crawfish played in the development of Cajun cuisine but also in the haute and street cuisine of New Orleans.

Not many Crescent City residents know that, in decades past, the road grid off Canal Street and Hagan Avenue became a swampy area in the spring where crawfish could easily be trapped by city dwellers.