With carnival season behind us comes what might be the most popular culinary season in the South: crawfish season.
This year’s mudbugs are some of the largest and most flavorful in the last several years, according to LSU AgCenter aquaculture professor Greg Lutz.
A multitude of factors must fall into place to have a productive crawfish season, Lutz says, and not just over the few months Louisiana residents associate with the season. It takes two to three years of appropriate weather patterns to produce a hefty crawfish crop.
Luckily, Lutz says the 2016 season looks like a quality one, although there’s always some uncertainty because of the state’s unpredictable weather.
Crawfish are cold-blooded, so their growth and reproduction patterns depend heavily on water temperature, he says. This year’s mild winter weather meant that the shellfish had an extended growing period and were able to move around more in the water.
Now is the best time to dine on the seafood delicacies, Lutz says. The season is in its prime and crawfish will decrease in size as the weather and water warm up.
Purchasing crawfish can be overwhelming with the vast range of options and prices in the Capital City. We break it down for you here by the pound (most recent prices), live and boiled:
Capital City Crawfish & Cajun Specialties: $4.40 boiled, $3.29 live
Tony’s Seafood: $4.59 boiled, $3.49 live
LA Boilers Seafood: $4.99 boiled, $3.49 live
Ron’s Seafood Market: $4.99 boiled, $3.29 live
Heads & Tails Seafood: $4.59 boiled, $3.19 live
Montalbano’s Seafood & Catering: $4.79 boiled, $3.79 live
Brightside Bar & Grill: $4.95 boiled
Sammy’s Grill: $5.95 boiled for carryout; 3 pounds for $18.05, 4 pounds for $24 or 5 pounds for $29.95 dine-in
Willie’s Restaurant & Bar: $4.75 boiled for carryout, 3 pounds for $16 or 5 pounds for $25 dine-in
Drusilla Seafood Restaurant: 4 pounds for $22.95 dine-in
Mike Anderson’s: 3 pounds for $19.95 dine-in
Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar: 3 pounds for $19.99 dine-in
Lakeside Bar & Grill: $5.25 boiled, 3 pounds for $16.95 or 5 pounds for $26.95 (only Wednesday-Sunday)