5 Ways to Enjoy Crawfish
Springtime ushers in Louisiana’s unofficial fifth and perhaps favorite season, crawfish season! Sunday drives arouse the olfactory nerve with the spicy aroma of neighborhood boils throughout Louisiana. We all love to enjoy a tray of the tasty crustaceans, but here are five unique ways to celebrate them.
1. Crawfish Farm Tour on the Seafood Sensation Trail
March through May is peak crawfish season and Jeff Davis Parish offers a unique opportunity to learn everything about Louisiana’s favorite food with crawfish farm tours. Spectators will experience the habitat, harvest, calculation, distribution and consumption of Louisiana’s #1 crustacean. Field trips and group tours must be arranged through the Jeff Davis Parish Tourist Commission. The crawfish tour begins in Roanoke, LA at the Tietje Crawfish Farm where spectators learn in the field about crawfish habitats and harvesting with lessons on species biology and pond ecology from Burt Tietje. The tour continues to the I-10 Crawfish Cooperative for an explanation of the marketing sector where visitors will see demonstrations of the cleaning, grading and distribution process. Contact the Jeff Davis Parish Tourist Commission to schedule a tour.
2. Crawfish Huts on the Prairie Home Cooking Trail
In a typical year, from December to June is crawfish time and numerous crawfish huts along the Prairie Home Cooking trail raise their awnings and get their burners blazing in and around towns including Opelousas. Stop by drive-up windows for sacks of live mudbugs or “to go” orders of boiled crawfish. Or choose to dine at one of the area's numerous restaurants that pay homage to the prized crustacean during season, such as Crawfish House & Grill in Opelousas or Vidrine's Cafe in Church Point. And don’t leave town without stocking up on the Opelousas-made dinner table staple, Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning. Check the St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission's website for more travel ideas in the Opelousas area and beyond.
3. Crawfish Education on the Bayou Bounty Trail
Head south to New Iberia and visit the country’s oldest operating rice mill — Conrad Rice Mill and KONRIKO. Take a tour of the century-plus old mill and learn about the Acadians and the area’s aquaculture that illustrates the symbiotic relationship between rice and crawfish. After the tour, stop by the KONRIKO Company Store and pick up some KONRIKO Crawfish, Shrimp & Crab Boil to take home and try your hand at a Cajun seafood boil. After the tour, you’re sure to be craving mudbugs, so stop by R & M's Boiling Point and enjoy few pounds. If you're in the mood for Cajun music and dancing, you'll want to visit Landry's Cajun, Seafood and Steakhouse (not the restaurant chain) and enjoy crawfish from the buffet. While you're in town, don't miss a tour of Avery Island, home of TABASCO. To plan your visit to Iberia Parish click here.
4. Celebrate Crawfish on the Bayou Bounty Trail
No discussion of crawfish would be complete without mentioning the world famous Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival. The first weekend of May each year, May 1-3, 2015, people from around the world descend upon this little St. Martin Parish town known as the crawfish capital of the world. Breaux Bridge has been celebrating Louisiana’s favorite crustacean in festival since 1960. Visitors will enjoy a parade, crawfish races, Cajun dance demonstrations and lessons, live music, cooking demonstrations, and of course, all of the crawfish you care to eat, prepared a variety of ways. Check out the full schedule of events here. Onsite camping is available or find other accommodations and area things to do at the St. Martin Parish Tourism site.
5. Enjoy Festival Fun on the Red River Riches Trail
Crawfish celebrations aren’t limited to south Louisiana. In 1984, a group of north Louisianians decided to pay tribute to their state by honoring one of her most cherished traditions — the crawfish boil - with a festival. Shreveport's Mudbug Madness festival is scheduled for May 21-24, 2015. The Memorial Day weekend festival set in downtown Shreveport features plenty of boiled crawfish, live Cajun, zydeco, blues and jazz music, and area arts and crafts. To plan your trip to the area check out the Shreveport – Bossier site.