One of the most thought of cuisines when you think about Louisiana, is crawfish. A cash crop, during the winter and spring, crawfish are bought by locals, restaurants, and grocery stores for boiling and peeling for dishes like crawfish stew and étouffée. In Southwest Louisiana, there is abundance of places to try the hot and spicy delicacy, including at the annual Downtown Lake Charles Crawfish Festival, where you're sure to get your fix!
A freshwater shellfish that is considered a Louisiana delicacy, crawfish can be found in many places! From front yard drainage ditches and clean freshwater streams and bayous (good luck catching enough on your own to boil) to the convenience of crawfish farms, grocery stores, restaurants, and road-side boil stops. You can buy crawfish already boiled or still alive in a netted sack to take home and boil/season to your liking. Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana has a lot of places you can conveniently eat or pick up crawfish, see our list below.
Crawfish can become available in some restaurants as early as December, but if size matters, you may want to wait until later in the season around March to June. Check out our seafood chart below.
Crawfish are typically sold by the pound and vary in cost based on the market price. Check out the app where prices are updated weekly. Check out the Crawfish App here.
Many people from outside of Louisiana wonder why Louisianans bother eating crawfish, a.k.a.- mudbugs, but you may be surprised with the nutritional values of the tiny crustacean. Low in calories, boiled crawfish are low in fat and provide a healthy amount of protein. Along with protein, crawfish have several valuable vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B-12 and B-6, which helps keep the body's nerve and blood cells healthy while helping brain development in children and producing serotonin to help regulate mood, no wonder people from Louisiana are usually so happy! We will let you know that a 3-ounce serving of crawfish meat does contain about 115 milligrams, or 40% of the recommended daily limit, of cholesterol. So like anything else, be mindful and eat in moderation, but we understand if you don't want to stop. (nutritional figures from here)