Crawfish, crayfish, mudbugs or yabbies. What you call the tasty creatures is not nearly as important as where and how you eat them. For a truly Creole dining experience, try boiled crawfish New Orleans style at The Original French Market Restaurant and Bar.
Taxonomy of crayfish and other stuff you don't need to know
Ask a biologist, and she'll tell you that the yummy red crustacean we know and love in New Orleans belongs to two super-families called Astacoidea and Parastacoidea. Interesting? Sure, but you don't have to understand the biology of crawdads to enjoy a plate piled high with the delectable critters. Neither do you need to know that crawdads prefer to live in swamp water or that they breathe via feathery gills? Or that a scientist who specializes in the study of crawfish is called an astacologist. All you need to know is where to dig into a delicious dinner, lunch or snack that features fabulous, flavorful boiled crawfish.
New Orleans residents and visitors know how wonderful it is to tuck into a pile of freshly boiled crawdads. But are they good for you? Actually, they are. According to nutritionist Beth Reames at Louisiana State University, the notion that crawfish are high in fat is a myth. Reames notes that although crawfish tend to be fattier than fish, boiled crawfish in New Orleans is low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol.
If you're watching your cholesterol intake, you might want to let a few crawdad heads go unsucked, because the bright orange hepatopancreas head meat holds the highest concentration of cholesterol. Feel free, however, to enjoy a 3-ounce serving of farm-raised crawfish with only around 116 mg. of cholesterol. By the way, crayfish are an excellent source of high-quality protein, vitamin B12, niacin, iron, copper, and selenium, explains the LSU nutritionist.
A few words about boiled crawfish New Orleans
Before they meet their fate in the boiling pot, crawfish are fascinating little critters. Despite there being more than 500 species of crawdads, only two are commercially viable in the United States. Africa has no crawfish, but there are an American species of crawfish that has no eyes. The Pelican State was the first to boast an Official State Crustacean. When in the egg stage, baby crawdads remain attached to the swimming legs of mama crawfish. Each crawfish has four pairs of legs they use for swimming and an additional four pairs that they use to walk.
If you want to eat boiled crawfish in New Orleans, you've got to time it right. Typically, wild crawdad season lasts from early January through late July. Sometimes, the crawfish season runs longer, but the peak months for enjoying fresh crustaceans are March, April, and May.
When you're in the mood for a brimming bowl of crawfish etouffee or a scrumptious pile of boiled crawfish, New Orleans is the place to be. Find The Original French Market Restaurant at 1001 Decatur Street in NOLA.Boiled Crawfish New Orleans