Q. I went to the seafood joint where I usually buy boiled crawfish, and I was shocked when he told me there were no more crawfish for this year. Is there a crawfish shortage? Was it because of the oil spill?
A. No, the season for crawfish is counterintuitive. The rough start and finish are Thanksgiving Day until the Fourth of July. But that would be in a good year. More often, the first crawfish of the year either have scrawny tails (in December) or aren’t there at all (until as late as early March). The peak of the season is Jazz Festival time–April and May. In the summer, they get themselves ready for parenthood, with the shells getting hard and all the fat going into spawning needs. This happens suddenly, usually in mid to late June. Crawfish tail meat continues to be available from the picking plants, which have a lot of mudbugs until the dropoff in the hot season. After that, it’s all frozen.
The good news in this is that when the crawfish return in the early spring, we miss them so much that it’s cause for celebration. More than if we had them all the time.
As for the oil spill, it didn’t affect crawfish. They live exclusively in fresh water environments, which were never touched by the oil.
This post originally appeared on Tom's website, NOMenu.com