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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.


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.

Crawfish Questions: How much crawfish per person?

If you want to have a party or get together for your family and friends, a crawfish boil is a great way to make sure the party is a success. The smell of a crawfish boil will entice your guests to eat (and may even get you a few stragglers from the neighborhood), so it is important to order enough crawfish to feed everyone.

crawfish boil

One of the most common questions we hear at Cajun Crawfish is “how many pounds of crawfish should I order”?

A good guideline for any crawfish boil is 3 pounds per person. However, it is important to take your guests into consideration when you place your order. For example, if your guests are big eaters, you may want to order 5 pounds for those individuals.

Now, if you’re down our way a Cajun will eat 7-10 pounds, so you may need to take out a small loan if you’re having a big boil! The most important thing to remember is it’s all about having fun and eating great food, and combining your live crawfish with a good gumbo and some delicious Cajun treats will make any crawfish boil a success!

Keep in mind, if you order too much, they are delicious cold the next day (stored in your frig or just in ice chest with ice on them). Or our favorite, is to peel the leftovers and make crawfish potato soup with the leftover potatoes, corn and crawfish… it’s so easy and delicious )

Have any questions about crawfish or our company? Let us know in the comments below or share your favorite crawfish boil memory.

Crawfish Questions: Can Pregnant Women Eat Crawfish?

pregnant woman with crawfish

It’s crawfish season again and people across the country – and especially in Louisiana – are gearing up to enjoy delicious, live crawfish at their next boil. Every year, we get a lot of questions about crawfish, cooking instructions, and how much crawfish are in a serving.

One question we get often – and one that is very important – is whether women can eat crawfish while they are pregnant.

This is a great question, and due to high levels of mercury in some types of fish, it is an important thing to consider, especially since the FDA recommends that pregnant women limit the amount of seafood they eat.

Fortunately for crawfish lovers, crawfish is in the class of seafood that is considered to have the lowest levels of mercury by the American Pregnancy Association, as long as it is fully cooked.

If you limit your crawfish to no more than 12 ounces per week, you can enjoy these delicious crustaceans without worry, especially the farm-raised varieties, like our live crawfish.


Have any questions about crawfish you would like answered? Leave us a comment below!

And if you would like to order delicious live crawfish for your next boil, check out our great selection, which we will deliver right to your door!

Question & Answer: How Many Pounds of Crawfish do I Need?

By Patrick D. Bonin

That’s a common question, but lots of variables play into providing a really good answer.

Are you serving a group of hungry Cajuns familiar with peeling and eating mudbugs? Or is this is a gathering of first-timers experiencing the wonders of their initial crawfish boil? How many women and children will be eating – they typically eat quite a bit less than the average guy. And are you including sausage, corn, potatoes and other “sides” in the boil?

You see, lots of factors play into coming up with a good number for your particular party. But here in south Louisiana (where we are admittedly experienced crawfish fanatics who probably eat more per person than other places,) many people figure on three to five pounds per attendee. But this is just an average: remember, a couple of folks might not eat much or just a couple of pounds, but one hungry guy can easily knock down 10 pounds worth and go back for more.

So try to gauge your party’s appetite, mudbug experience and male/female/child ratio. But typically, allowing 3-5 pounds per person is a good starting point. And the more corn, potatoes, mushrooms and sausage you include, the “safer” you are in making sure everyone leaves full and satisfied!

Question & Answer: What’s the difference between brown and white shrimp?

According to the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, white shrimp have traditionally been considered the premium large shrimp in Louisiana. They are slightly more tender than other shrimp, and their shells are easier to peel.

Brown shrimp provide the bulk of Louisiana’s shrimp production. The difference between the shrimp, especially in smaller sizes, is very slight. Brown shrimp are slightly firmer when they reach a larger size, and sometimes develop a slight iodine taste, which may not be noticeable to the average palate.


Question & Answer: What’s the shelf life of fresh crawfish tail meat?

In your refrigerator or on ice, we would suggest 14 days. If you freeze it, the tail meat should be good for about one year.


Question & Answer: How many crawfish are in a pound?

That a tough one to answer. It depends on lots of variables, including Mother Nature, water quality, available food supply and temperature. We think a good answer is between 25 and 30. But remember, if they’re running small the count could be as high as 50, and if the mudbugs are big, you might need only 12 or 16 to make a pound!

Question & Answer: If the crawfish season starts early, will it end early?

Not necessarily. Many factors play a role in the wrap up of the crawfish harvest, including water quality and temperature. If we experience a milder-than-usual May and early June, the harvest could continue a bit longer than normal. But if May gets really hot and June is even hotter, the mudbugs will usually burrow down below the ponds and effectively end the season. We can tell pretty quickly by working the traps daily when the catch starts to diminish. But only Mother Nature and the crawfish themselves know when the season will officially end. Every year we try to make it through the end of June, but we keep our customers posted as it winds down.