Before reading this post, I recommend you click this link for some audio ambiance
There is a huge benefit to living near the water - SEAFOOD!
The biggest problem you run into in the South (capitol "S") is the heavy breading, and short cooking times in hot "trans-fat free" industrial oils ruining otherwise delicious fresh fare. I love oysters on the half shell, but for some reason, I can only find them battered, fried, and stuck on a po' boy bun around here, and shrimp tends to meet the same fate. Luckily, there is a culture of food down hyeah that isn't all about fried fried fried. Almost any seafood restaurant you go to, outside of a po' boy shop on the side of the road will have boiled seafood. Crabs, shrimp, crawfish are all still snappin' when they throw them in the pot, with a healthy portion of spices, corn, sometimes sausage, and red potatoes. it's only a few minutes, and you have a beautiful pot of spicy fish candy ready to be cracked open and shoved in your face!
If you've never had blue crab, then you are truly missing out on one of the best edible creatures on the planet. People think of crabs, and they think of crab legs imported from a cold and dangerous location somewhere near the arctic circle only to break open the shells and dip the meat in clarified butter. While all this is fine and dandy, since it gives us entertaining reality television on the discovery channel, it definitely isn't the most tasty crustacean swimming and crawling across the bottom of the Ocean. As anyone along the East and Gulf Coast knows, blue crab is fish candy! It's like swimming bacon!
Now you can buy peeled and de-veined shrimp already cooked, and you can buy jumbo lump crabmeat for $30/Lb, but why mess with all that, when you can peel or pick it yourself? The locals just grab and go start picking. It really is a lot better when you pick the meat off the shell instead of worrying about all the bread in a crab cake or devilled crab. It is such a nice change-up from the usual fried nasty, or the greasy burgers on most people's plates.
Here is a link to a video explaining how to pick your crab
Shrimping has just started again here, and word has it the boats are doing really well this season. I'm going to go look for a good deal on the side of the bayou. I love this stuff!