My bestest friend's family is from Vietnam, 1975 refugees. When they first arrived in the US, her dad was one of the many Vietnamese who became a shrimper off of the coast of Louisiana. During my childhood, I ate at my best friend's house and her family's Chinese Vietnamese restaurant very often. I remember during crawfish season, her parents would go and buy a huge sack of crawfish and do a crawfish boil and serve that with dipping sauces. The live crawfish would be in our local Vietnamese grocery store, too. At some point, I started to see crawfish boiling places at Vietnamese American strip malls (in Texas, I have no idea how wide this phenomenon is, do they have these crawfish places in California, where many Vietnamese-American food and cultural trends start???). In the past few years, these Vietnamese style crawfish boil places have, like other types of Vietnamese restos and cafes, become very very popular beyond the Vietnamese-American clientele and crossed over to attracting a multi-ethnic and mainstream clientele. I realize that I have watched the evolution of a food trend.
I can see why Vietnamese like crawfish. It is delicious. But is there some other reason? Does the North American crawfish resemble some similar sea creature that is already popular in Vietnam and prepared in a similar way to a seasoned boil? It seems so different than langostine (I thought crawfish are N. American, please more info on that if you know). Or in Texas-Louisiana with our huge Vietnamese-American populations, did the Vietnamese adopt this crustacean and the 'boil' technique because of their connection to Gulf Coast shrimping?