Politics and crawfish, a taste of Southern hospitality

In Politics

Editor’s note: This is Day 4 of a two-week tour of Middle America as Matt Arco and Andrew Maclean connect people in New Jersey with those in red states. Track everything on Twitter via #MeetInTheMiddle or at NJ.com/meetinthemiddle.

RUSTON, La. — If there’s a single stereotype that I’d ever buy into it’s the idea of Southern hospitality (seriously Dean and Tristan, thanks again for showing two gun novices from Jersey around the Missouri gun range).

We’re encountering it throughout our two-week romp through the nation’s heartland that we’re calling the #MeetInTheMiddle project.

While at Ponchatoulas’ bar and restaurant in Ruston, La., we met two guys that worked there, Ross and Eric, who we talked to about the town and politics.

Within 10 minutes Ross assumed at least one of us has never seen a crawfish boiler. He was right.

Ten-minutes after that, the guys ushered us out to the back of Ponchatoulas where they showed the proper Louisiana way to boil crawfish. They walked us through the steps, showed us how they clean and sort the crawfish, and, without me asking, Ross demonstrated what it’s like to get pinched by one.

Unfortunately we had to get back on the road before getting a taste of the finished project.

But Ross told us we were his favorite two reporters from New Jersey he ever met, so we have that.

Thanks, guys. We appreciated the tutorial.

Matt Arco may be reached at marco@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewArco or on Facebook.

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