Several people have asked me if crawfish season has started. There are signs popping up all over town advertising crawfish, so I guess the answer is "yes." At Baja, the new oyster bar and seafood restaurant on Westheimer where Tommy's Steakhouse used to be, crawfish were recently selling for more than $5 a pound. That ain't cheap.
"The crawfish are so expensive this year, and they are so tiny," is a complaint you hear annually around Mardi Gras. Last year, I got Jim Gossen at Louisiana Foods to explain the crawfish season to me. He said that the demand for crawfish in Catholic Louisiana is traditionally highest during Lent. The price drops after Easter.
Big crawfish become plentiful during the spring flood when melting snow in the North causes the Mississippi River to swell and flood the Atchafalaya Swamp. The season peaks when most of the snow melts -- which isn't in February or early March. So the crawfish get cheaper AND bigger after Lent is over.
Last year, I asked Brooks Bassler at BB's Cajun Café if he was going to sell crawfish. "Not until after Easter," the Morgan City native responded. That pretty much sealed the deal for me. If Jim Gossen and Brooks Bassler, two of the biggest Cajun food authorities in town, say that the crawfish eating gets better after Easter, then I am willing to wait.
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Easter Sunday is April 4 this year.