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Debunked: 5 Myths About Turduckens Everyone Believes

Turduckens

Every year Turduckens gain in popularity. From its first appearance with John Madden, people have wondered about this amazing bird…or…birds.

As the folklore surrounding Turduckens has grown, so have many of the myths surrounding them. Every day we get questions about Turduckens and whether they are the right choice at their holiday meal.

Let’s dispel some of these:

  1. Turduckens are Unhealthy – While you are not going to find a Turducken on the list of healthy eats this holiday season, it is not accurate that the Turducken is worse for you than a traditional Thanksgiving turkey. Our Turduckens are stuffed with boneless, skinless chicken and duck breasts, which helps to eliminate a lot of the calories. Overall, Turduckens are chock-full of delicious protein.
  2. The Kids Won’t Like It – If your children like Thanksgiving turkey, they will absolutely love the turkey meat of the Turducken. Plus, they will be able to try something a little bit different and brag to their friends about what they had at the holiday dinner table.
  3. Turduckens are Hard to Cook – This actually couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it could be argued that Turduckens are actually easier to cook than a traditional turkey. To be honest, there is a fine line between a juicy, delicious turkey and one that looks like it was set out in the sun too long. There is no surprise with Turduckens, however. They are self-basting, and are done as soon as they reach the proper internal temperature.
  4. Thanksgiving Won’t Be the Same – To be completely honest, is this really a bad thing? Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday to spend with your family and friends, but you have to admit: turkey can get a bit old. Turduckens look something like a turkey, but are an absolute flavor explosion. You will not be disappointed with a little change this holiday season.
  5. Turduckens are Difficult to Get – Totally not true! At CajunCrawfish.com, not only do we have Turduckens in stock, but they ship out the next business day so you can have a Turducken when you need it this holiday season.

Can you think of any other Turducken myths we missed? Let us know and we can cover them in future entries (we may even give you a shout out). And until then, let us know what we can do to make your next holiday dinner one to remember.

 

10 Reasons Crawfish are as Unique as Louisiana

crawfish festival crawfish

Let’s face it, there is no other place quite like the Bayou State. Whether you live in Louisiana or just love the natural beauty, people, and culture, there is something about Cajun Country that grabs ahold of people and refuses to let go. Here at CajunCrawfish.com we love our Louisiana heritage almost as much as we love crawfish. Fortunately, crawfish are as unique as the place they call home.

  1. They come in way more colors than red. You can find rare ones that are blue, white, orange, green, and pretty much any other color of the rainbow. They all turn red once boiled though.
  2. Crawfish can drown and have inner gills so they can live out of water.
  3. Of the over 500 species of crawfish, only 2 species are eaten.
  4. The earliest crawfish fossil is about 30 million years old and evidence of 100 million year old burrows were found in Australia.
  5. A crawfish’s eyes can move independently from each other.
  6. While walking, they move forward, but they swim backwards.
  7. Louisiana’s Official Crustacean is the crawfish.
  8. They can grow back lost legs and claws.
  9. They molt once a year and eat their former skeleton to regain the calcium and phosphates they need.
  10. Crawfish feed at night.

And one more little fact about our little friends…they taste absolutely delicious. Fortunately for you, CajunCrawfish.com lets you get crawfish delivered right to your front door! Whether you are looking for live crawfish in season, or whole boiled crawfish year-round, we deliver fast so you can enjoy these amazing crustaceans anytime.

The Perfect Crawfish Boil

crawfish boil etiquette

To create the perfect crawfish boil you’ll need live crawfish, some vegetables, a pot, burner, propane, a good amount of Fruge’s seasoning, and some good people to share the experience with.

  1. When getting your crawfish, you’ll want to get farm-raised live crawfish and be sure to have enough for everyone (usually about 3-5 pounds per person).
  2. Next you need to think about your sides. The standard is just some potatoes and corn on the cob but you can also have mushrooms, onions, garlic, lemons, artichokes, and some even put cut up hot dogs or sausage in the pot too. The sides may seem simple but they play a large part in the experience and can make or break a boil.
  3. Your equipment should be a large pot, depending on the amount you are planning to boil. A 60 or 80 qt. can boil up to a sack (30 lbs.) at a time. If you are just cooking 10/20 lbs, a 20 quart is fine. You will also need a burner to put the pot on (unless you are doing it on the stove), and some propane so you can actually have a boil.
  4. To ensure that your crawfish taste great you’ll need the right type of seasoning. You have multiple types of seasoning to boil with and it all comes down to what you prefer. Fruge seasoning is a wonderful choice. We took years to come up with the perfect blend. It’s perfect for a layered effect. The more you put on, the spicier it gets, so you can choose how much is perfect for you. Dry seasoning is very useful because you can not only season the water with it but can add seasoning to the crawfish after they are out of the water.
  5. Now, one of the most important parts of the crawfish boil are the people you share it with. With the right group, the boil should be just as fun as when you are eating the crawfish so choose some close friends that you can knock back a beer with a make it a party because nothing says a good time like a crawfish boil.

Now that you know what you will need, lets talk about how to make your food taste the best.

  1. Start by filling the pot a little more than half way and begin heating up the water to cook your sides. For the best results, you can add a little bit of seasoning (about half a pound) but that is your choice and they will still turn out great without it. After you have finished the sides be sure to put them in an ice chest to stay hot while you cook the crawfish.
  2. Before dropping in the crawfish, you’ll want to add some more seasoning (anywhere from 1-3 extra pounds) to the water and then bring the water to a boil. Usually we suggest 1 lb. of seasoning per 10 lbs. of crawfish. Once that water is bubbling, you can add the crawfish.
  3. When cooking the crawdads, you only want to boil about one sack at a time. They should take about 5 minutes and you can take them out when you can see the crawfish floating in the water (pro tip: before removing the crawfish, use a hose and spray water in the pot by dunking the end of the hose in and out of the pot. This will make the crawfish soak up water and be more juicy to eat).
  4. When the crawfish are done, take them out and pour into a large ice chest while someone sprinkles more dry seasoning on them (.5-2 pounds of seasoning) and then close the lid and shake them up a little. Repeat these steps until you are out of crawfish to cook.

Now its time to eat, you can choose to eat with trays or just dump them on the table. Grab from the pile but be sure to have some paper towels nearby because they can be pretty messy. Be sure before you begin to grab a cold beer because you have just pulled off the perfect crawfish boil and you deserve a drink.

Debunked: 5 Myths About Crawfish Everyone Believes

crawfish myths

Crawfish are a big deal in Southern Louisiana.

In fact, most Louisianans wait (somewhat impatiently) every year for the first crawfish to be ready to boil. We throw extravagant parties centered around these delightful crustaceans.

But with all of the hoopla comes confusion. In fact, there are several myths about crawfish that are commonly held throughout crawfish county.

Let’s dispel some of these:

  1. Don’t Eat the Straight Ones! – The persistent myth that crawfish with straight tails were dead and therefore not okay to eat has been around as long as people have been boiling. The truth is, crawfish with straight tails only get that way because of being crowded up against the side of the pot. As long as the meat comes out of the tail, they are perfectly safe to eat.
  2. Use Salt to Purge Crawfish – Many people believe that placing crawfish in a tub of salt water for a few hours will force the mudbugs to purge out any waste. This is simply not the case. If you truly want to purge crawfish, they need to be flushed for several hours with extremely-fresh, oxygenated water. Go ahead and save your salt.
  3. Crawfish Are High in Fat – This is another myth that is simply wrong. Crawfish are actually quite healthy and are low in fat, trans fat, and saturated fat.
  4. Crawfish Eaters Make Better Lovers – Well, how did this one get on the list?! This one – as any good Cajun can attest – is absolutely true.
  5. You Have to Come to Louisiana to Get Quality Crawfish – While it may be true that the best crawfish come from Louisiana (and we like to think Branch, LA is the center of all the best), you don’t have to travel to the Pelican State to enjoy them thanks to fast delivery and low prices from CajunCrawfish.com!

Can you think of any other crawfish myths we missed? Let us know and we can cover them in future entries (we may even give you a shout out). And until then, let us know what we can do to make your next crawfish boil one to remember.

 

What Is Whole Boiled Crawfish?

Whenever people visit our website and see our whole boiled crawfish, they often ask what that is. We take pride in saying that ours is the best. We take crawfish at the peak of the season, partially cook them and then flash freeze them. We do not add seasoning to this because it would deteriorate the product, but we do supply seasoning so that you can finish cooking them in our spice. The beauty of this, is that our crawfish stay whole and do not fall into pieces. It boils down to this (PUN INTENDED), our whole cooked crawfish is better. Period. We are always amazed that our competitors use IQF or Individually Quick Frozen crawfish. Let us show you why whole cooked is better with this easy pros and cons list:

 

WHOLE COOKED
 
PROS CONS
fresher tasting
not rubbery
easier to cook

 

IQF  
PROS CONS
rubbery texture
not fresh tasting

freezer burnt

It’s a short list, but it’s pretty straightforward.

The reason why whole cooked crawfish is better is because it’s frozen in the water it was boiled in, which allows for a more protected product. Ask yourself a question. If you’ve ever frozen fish before, did you just wrap the fish in a bag and freeze it, or did you fill the bag with water first before freezing? Most fishermen in Louisiana would freeze their fish in bags of water because it keeps the fish fresher than if you were to just put it in the bag. The same idea applies to crawfish. It keeps it fresher and tastier.

Whenever you IQF crawfish, the meat becomes rubbery in texture and loses all flavor completely and usually the claws fall off. Coming from someone who has had both styles of crawfish out of season, I can say without a doubt in my mind that our Whole Cooked Crawfish is far superior in quality and flavor than IQF crawfish.

Give it a shot and place an order today. We want to provide you with crawfish year round.

Crawfish Festivals 2017

It’s that time of year again. The weather is warming up, the trees are beginning to turn green and the smell of crawfish is in the air. In Southern Louisiana, the distinct scent of boiling crawfish is one of the sure signs that Spring is finally here. Crawfish are a long-standing tradition down here, and we show our love of these crustaceans with festivals throughout the state.
crawfish festival

Louisiana isn’t the only state that celebrates the crawfish, however, and there are a number of festivals throughout the United States. Here are a few of our favorites:

Louisiana:

  • Mudbug Madness in Shreveport, LA – On Memorial Day Weekend, May 25-28, head on over to Shreveport for Mudbug Madness. Voted one of the 100 best events for 2017, Mudbug Madness celebrates all things Louisiana for their 31st year. They must be doing something right.
  • Crawfest in New Orleans, LA – On April 16, Tulane University in New Orleans offers up more than 20,000 pounds of Crawfish, music, art, and fun at the Uptown campus for the annual Crawfest. Tickets are only $10 and free for Tulane students, which includes UNLIMITED Crawfish!
  • Louisiana Crawfish Festival in Chalmette – On March 23-26, 2017 cajun bands provide the music, and arts and crafts booths showcase local talent. There’s always a giant midway with carnival games, cotton candy, candied apples, and fun rides. You can dine on several different crawfish dishes while there.
  • Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival – Come to watch the world famous race of the crawfish! Enjoy crawfish prepared in anyway you can think of from boiled to a pie. It takes place May 5-7, 2017.
  • Crawfish Mambo: Cook Off & Music Festival on the Lake – New Orleans’ largest cook-off, will be held May 13, 2017. You can sample dozens of different crawfish boils cooked by teams competing for “Best of Boil”. Feast on all-you-can-eat crawfish, while dancing the Mambo or take a break to shop the Mambo Artists Village.

Texas:

  • Kemah Crawfish Festival – Takes place under the Kemah Bridge in Kemah, Texas, March 24, 25, 26, 2017. There will be crawfish, beverages, live music, and fun, all with a free admission.
  • Woodlands CrawPHish Festival – On March 25, 2017 in Woodlands, Texas, event attendees will enjoy crawfish and a variety of refreshments while listening to live music. A designated Kids Zone will feature a variety of activities including a bouncing moonwalk, inflatable slide, face painting and more!
  • Bigass Crawfish Bash – Scheduled events include the crawfish cooking competition, live music, kid zone, vendors market, Veterans VIP tent, food court and more! All of this is taking place on April 1, 2017 in Hitchcock, Texas.
  • Llano Crawfish Open – A two day event held on April 15 & 16, 2017 in Llano, Texas. You can enjoy crawfish team roping, arts and crafts for kids, live music, food to be served, a charity golf open, 5K walk/run, and also a motorcycle fun run.
  • Mauriceville Crawfish Festival  – Festival features music lineup , entertainment, creole cooking demos, competitive crawfish cook-off, and more all on April 21-23, 2017 in orange, Texas
  • Crawfish Festival – Located in DeSoto, Texas at the DeSoto Amphitheater on June 3, 2017, including tons of delicious spicy crawfish, great food live music, vendors, and games  at this friendly, relaxed, and fun event.

Arkansas: 

  • Crawdad Days Music Festival – Held every year in Harrison, Arkansas and held the third weekend of May around the banks of Lake Harrison. This year it takes place on May 19 & 20, 2017 where you can enjoy food, crafts, clothing items, and the STAR attraction… crawfish!
  • Hot Springs Gumbo & Crawfish Festival – Takes place on April 22, 2017 in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where you can sample gumbo from the areas cooking teams fighting for “Best Hot Springs Gumbo”, purchase a crawfish dinner, and also enjoy some dance music!

Florida:

Mississippi:

  • Crawfish Music Festival in Biloxi, MS – The Crawfish Music Festival is the most fun you will have…twice! On April 20-23 and then again the following weekend, April 27-30, more than 10,000 people show up to the Crawfish Music Festival in Biloxi for great fun, great music, rides, artists, and of course, Crawfish!

California:

  • Gator by the Bay Festival in San Diego, CA – For four days, from May 11-14, 2017, the San Diego Bay area pulls out all the stops with Zydeco, Blues, dancing and more than 10,000 pounds of Crawfish! Put on in part by the Louisiana Office of Tourism, the Gator by the Bay festival is the “most Fun You’ll Find This Side of the Bayou”.
  • LSU Alumni of San Diego – This crawfish boil happens on May 28, 2017 @ the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. Go to enjoy hot and spicy boiled crawfish by Cajun Chefs, with seasoned corn and potatoes, cold and premium beer, live music all afternoon, with a selection of soda bottles water food and drink.

Illinois:

  • Gumbo Ya Ya in Rock Island, IL – Catch the spirit of the French Quarter as they celebrate in downtown Rock Island, Il in the District! Cajun foods, Cajun music, and of course a lot of Crawfish make Mardi Gras in the District a great time every year! This year’s Gumbo Ya Ya takes place June 12 & 13.

Georgia:

  • Frogtown Crawfish Festival – Fresh Louisiana crawfish, live music, arts and crafts, kids zone, food, adult beverages, inflatables, face painters, games, contests, and much more. Its $10 a day entry fee, but kids 12 years old and under get in free! It will all start May 12 & 13, 2017 in Columbus, Georgia.
  • Woodbine Crawfish Festival – Family oriented event for all ages offering children’s amusements to arts & crafts, to cloggers, square dancers, and live bands, This years festivities begin on April 28, 2017 and April 29, 2017 at the Satilla Waterfront Park Stage and gazebo stage.

New Jersey:

  • Michael Arnone’s Crawfish Fest – Camping weekend event will consist of not only live bands, but great food options and crafts for all ages attending! All taking place in Augusta, New Jersey on June 2, 3, & 4, 2017.

Oklahoma:

  • Chisholm Trail Round-Up Crawfish Festival – Enjoy a taste of Louisiana at the Chisholm Trail Crawfish Festival in Yukon. This annual outdoor event celebrates Cajun culture with food, history and music. The festival is family-friendly and features numerous activities for all age groups, including the Kid’s Kreative Korral, chicken and crawfish races and pony rides. A live Cajun band will perform and give dance lessons throughout the day. Taking place in Yukon, Oklahoma on June 3, 2017.

Oregon:

  • Annual Tualatin Crawfish Festival – This festival has a crawfish cooking contest, a crawfish crawl relay, 5K, & half marathon, Food booths, Beer garden, vendor village, crawfish eating contest, fireworks, and a silent disco all while being able to enjoy quality family time on August 4 & 5, 2017.

Tennessee:

  • Porter-Leath Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival – Over 30,000 festival goers will enjoy live music on three stages from nationally known Louisiana Zydeco bands and local award-winning artists in Memphis, games including crawfish bobbing, eating, and racing, arts & crafts vendors, and a play zone for children ages 12 and under. VIP experiences are available and include the Swamp Tent featuring an all you can eat crawfish and cajun cuisine and CashSaver Louisiana Gumbo Cook-off which offers cash prizes. All events start on April 23, 2017 for free admission Wagner Place and Riverside Drive in Memphis Tennessee .
  • Ragin’ Cajun Crawfish Boil – Over 2,000 people, 4,000 pounds of all-you-can-eat crawfish, over 80 kegs of all-you-can-drink beer and ciders, and 7 of Nashvilles hottest Bands. All on April 8th, 2017 in Cumberland Park, Nashville, Tennessee.

Washington D.C.:

  • Bayou Fete XIII- DC-LCC Annual Crawfish Boil – 10,000 pounds of all you can eat crawfish and 50 kegs of beers, cokes, and water all day long while being able to listen to live music and a day packed full of event that include softball, volleyball, and other park games, but you must bring your own equipment. This event takes place on June 10, 2017 at Fort Hunt Park- Area-A in Alexandria, Virginia.

 

Have any other crawfish festivals you think we missed? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Crawfish Myths: Use Salt to Purge Your Crawfish

crawfish myths

Crawfish boils are more than tradition in Southern Louisiana; they’re a way of life.

More than a simple get-together, crawfish boils bring family and friends together to eat, smile and reminisce. Every year, Cajuns and regular people throughout the Pelican State wait (somewhat patiently) for the first crawfish drive thrus to pop up throughout their community. Not long after, the smell of boiling crawfish wafts through the air.

As with any tradition, crawfish and crawfish boils come with their fair share of myths. One of the most commonly held of these is that the best way to clean crawfish is by rinsing them in salt water – or even simply placing them in a tub of salt water. This is an old wives tale, and not something we recommend.

Crawfish excrete waste through their gills, and purging takes time. While a salt rinse may clean the existing waste from their gills, it will not force the crawfish to purge themselves and eliminate waste from their intestines.

If you truly want to purge crawfish, they need to be flushed for several hours with extremely-fresh, oxygenated water. We began doing this to keep our inventory healthy, but learned that crawfish actually purge themselves while fasting in the fresh, clear water. While labor-intensive, we feel it is the best way to ensure our crawfish are purged and ready to eat.

While we keep our crawfish in this hyper-environment right up until they are shipped, we still recommend rinsing them off with a cool hose once you receive them to not only refresh them, but give them a final shower. Usually the crawfish finish the perge on the trip to you.

You can go ahead and save your salt!

 

Crawfish Myths: Can You Eat Straight-Tail Crawfish?

crawfish myths

If you live in Southern Louisiana, chances are you have been to a crawfish boil.

Crawfish boils are a tradition that are passed down through families with each having their own unique customs, recipes, and etiquette. Some things are constant throughout nearly all boils, however, including what is considered the gospel truth among Louisianans: Never eat the straight-tail crawfish.

One of the first things you learn at a crawfish boil is do not eat the straight-tail crawfish. Supposedly, straight tail crawfish were dead before the boil and are therefore not safe to eat. This bit of advice has been passed down from generation to generation, and it’s one of the most popular myths about crawfish.

Why do crawfish curl when cooked? The abdomen of crustaceans, such as crawfish, usually curls as a result of muscle contraction when cooked. Therefore, the assumption is if their abdomens are decaying or decomposed in any way, it could prevent the muscle from contracting. However, research done by the LSU AgCenter has shown there is no difference in tail curl between crawfish that were alive when boiled and ones who were already dead. The researchers determined the straight tail was most likely a result of putting too many crawfish in the pot at once.

There’s a better way to test if the crawfish is truly edible. If the meat is mushy or crumbles, don’t eat it. Otherwise it should be fine to eat, regardless of the tail curl.

Classic Crawfish Etouffee

 

Serves 4

1 cup onion, chopped

1/4  cup butter + 1 tbs.

1/4 cup All Purpose flour

1/4 cup celery, chopped

1/4 cup sweet green pepper, chopped

2 tbs. garlic, minced

1 tbs. tomato paste

2 tsp. salt

1 lb. Louisiana crawfish tail meat, including fat

 

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. Cayenne pepper

3 cups water (or stock)

1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce

1 tbs. lemon juice

1/4 cup green onion, minced

1 tbs. fresh parsley, chopped

Hot Louisiana rice

 

In large saucepan or cast iron pot, melt . cup butter over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for 5-6 min until onions begin to brown. Reduce heat to medium, add our, stirring constantly for 5-6 min creating a roux. Cook until roux is light brown/reddish in color. Add reserved 1tbs. butter, celery, bell pepper, garlic, tomato paste, salt, black pepper, and cayenne and cook an additional 3 minutes. Add water, Worcestershire, and lemon juice then bring to a boil. Add crawsh tail meat (with the fat from package) and green onions, then bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 6-8 minutes until crawsh tails are heated through and sauce has thickened. Turn o heat and stir in parsley. Serve immediately over hot, cooked rice.

John Madden & Turduckens

While the Turducken has a long, and illustrious history, they have really gained in popularity in the past couple of decades. The reasons for this are many, but one of the major contributors to the growth in Turducken popularity and sales in none other than football commentator, John Madden.

John Madden’s love for the Turducken is well-known among football fans, but people less familiar with the sport – and even the casual fan – may not be familiar with how the love affair began.

The First Taste

It all started in New Orleans. Mr. Madden was presented a Turducken during a broadcast of a Saints game. In his own words, he described the experience:

“The first one I ever had I was doing a game in New Orleans,” Mr. Madden said. ”The P.R. guy for the Saints brought me one. And he brought it to the booth. It smelled and looked so good. I didn’t have any plates or silverware or anything, and I just started eating it with my hands.”

This began a love – which sometimes seemed to border on obsession – and became a common theme during the football season for many years to come. When Mr. Madden would do broadcasts, he would reference the Turducken consistently. In fact, he even brought a Turducken onto a 1997 broadcast on Thanksgiving and began carving it on air.

Turducken Awards

John Madden’s love of the Turducken was so profound that he even began giving Turduckens away to players for a great game. During the Thanksgiving Bowl on Fox Sports, he awarded the players of the winning team a Turducken for their win.

The Turducken references and sighting went on for years, and while John Madden stopped referencing the delicacy for one reason or another, the Turducken name was forever carved into the hearts and minds of football fans across America.

If you are interested to see what all the fuss was about, we sell delicious Turduckens that you can purchase for your holiday gathering or simply for something unique next Sunday. Check out our Turducken page to learn more and buy one today!