Nuthin’ better than a cooler of cold ones, a picnic table covered with newspaper, a couple of bottles of hot sauce and a mess of mudpuppies y’all. Oh yeah, and surrounded by friends. Friends you didn’t even know you had, until you said the words “crawfish boil”.

While crawfish season generally goes from November to July. Some of this is dependent upon temperatures and some of it is dependent upon rain.

Crawfish are part of Louisiana’s history. The Houma Indian tribe has used the crawfish as its emblem for centuries. In the 1800s, Cajun settlers modified lobster recipes passed down from their coastal Canadian forefathers, substituting them with crawfish. Creole restaurateurs in New Orleans caught on, and once it took off in the Big Easy, the secret was out. Today, Louisiana leads the nation in crawfish production.

February to mid-May is prime time to find fresh, live crawfish. Much of what you find in stores isn’t fresh and is farm raised. Crawfish season varies from one year to the next, based on how cold (or mild) the weather was during the Gulf Coast winter. It also depends on the amount of rain, and the water levels in the swamps and bayous. Wet and warm is what you want for primo crawfish.

Crawfish are freshwater crustaceans. Louisiana has more than thirty different species of crawfish, but only two species are commercially important to the industry: the red swamp crawfish and the white river crawfish.

Crawfish are healthy food. They are an excellent source of high-quality protein, low in calories, fat and saturated fat, and a good source of vitamins.

So, if you aren’t gonna do a Crawfish Boil at the house for all of your neighborhood. No problem! Here’s a list of bona fide festivals where you can get up close and personal with the Louisiana crustacean:

  • Louisiana Crawfish Festival

    March 21 – 24, 2019, in Chalmette St. Bernard Parish is one of the most seafood-centric regions of Louisiana, with a commercial fishing industry that has thrived for decades. So it’s no wonder the Louisiana Crawfish Festival is in the parish seat of Chalmette, located just a few minutes’ drive from downtown New Orleans. Head to the fest for crawfish served up every which way, with sides of Cajun music, crafts and pageants.

  • World Championship Crawfish Étouffée Cook-off

    March 31, 2019, in Eunice The goal of this fest: Win over a panel of judges’ hearts (or tastebuds, anyway) with the best batch of crawfish étouffée. Étouffée is Cajun heritage in a bowl, a stew made with a “blonde” roux, crawfish and vegetables, and served over rice. At this 34th annual cook-off, a few lucky competitors are awarded bragging rights, but it just might be hungry festival attendees who are the real winners. See our Etouffee recipe featured this month.

  • 15th Annual Crawfish Cook-Off

    April 27, 2019, in Slidell  Billed as the largest one-day event on the Northshore, the Hospice Foundation of the South-sponsored Crawfish Cookoff in Slidell boasts 60-plus teams vying for the title of Best Crawfish in St. Tammany Parish. Bands known well beyond the parish line play at this charity event, and special attractions include a Kids Zone for children age 12 and under.

If that’s not enough we at want you to remember that April is Louisiana Crawfish Awareness Month. So remember, crawfish are good for you! Crawfish is packed with high-quality protein. … Crawfish are low in fat and contain only trace amounts of carbohydrates. Crawfish are high in B Vitamins and minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc and Phosphorous. A 3-ounce serving of cooked crawfish contains 70 calories and 14 grams of protein.

Laissez Le Bon Ton Roule! Y’all!