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Food & Drink

Everything You Need to Know About the Crawfish Boil

New Orleans crawfish is a local's favorite seafood pick. (Photo: Rebeccca Todd)

Unless you’re living under a rock (kinda like the crawfish do), you know it’s crawfish season – that magical time of year when tasty, freshwater crustaceans are available all over the city. Whether you plan to host your own crawfish boil or share some obscure crawfish facts amongst friends, consider this guide your best resource.

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The 5 Key Takeaways About Crawfish

1. When is crawfish season? 

  • You’ll see them as early as December, and they hit their peak around March-April and disappear come July
  • New Orleans has four seasons: Mardi Gras (winter), crawfish (spring), snowballs (summer), football (fall)
  • When it’s festival season, it’s usually a great time for crawfish

2. We don’t call them crayfish, crawdads or mudbugs: they’re crawfish.

3. Breaux Bridge, La. is the “crawfish capital of the world.”

4. What to throw in the boil: 

  • 4-5 pounds crawfish per person
  • Basic — garlic, boil seasoning, lemon halves, celery
  • Classic – add red potatoes, corn, sausage, artichokes
  • Classic redux – add sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, pineapple, pork chops
  • Asian-Cajun – add orange wedges, lemongrass stalks 
  • You’ll also need…
  • Newspaper = makeshift table clothes
  • Plastic trays
  • Rolls of paper towels
  • Dipping sauce for potatoes
  • Lots of beer

5. Random tips/facts:

  • Don’t eat the straight ones
  • Look for the rare blue crawfish and less rare white crawfish
  • Make crawfish étouffée with leftover tails (if you have any), spicy potato salad with leftover potatoes, or a garlic mash to spread on bread with the leftover garlic
  • Don’t forget to get some meat from the claws!
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