Thanks to a mild “winter” (if we can call it that), crawfish season got under way earlier than usual. The harvest started in mid-January. According to native Houstonian Bill Collins, general manager of BB’s Café in The Heights (featured in the video below), in some years crawfish season doesn’t start until the beginning of March. So, mudbug lovers get to enjoy the springtime treat six weeks longer than usual.
Should people suck the heads? Some do, some don't, but in the video below, Collins explains why diners should. Contrary to popular belief, people who suck the heads aren't consuming the brains. So, what is that tasty stuff in the head? Watch the video below to find out.
Crawdads are big business for BB’s Café. The Heights location alone sells more than 12,000 pounds per week during the season. “We serve them every day at all locations while supplies last,” said Collins. “Be ready to wait. We get pretty crowded on the weekends — but we have cold beer while you wait.” So, what’s Collins’s beer of choice for crawfish? “Abita Purple Haze!” he said without hesitation. It makes sense — a Louisiana beer for a tradition long associated with the swampland.
Louisiana isn't the only state where crawfish are raised. They’re harvested from freshwater habitats along the I-10 corridor, so some even come from southeast Texas.
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BB’s serves its crawfish with boiled shrimp, hunks of corn on the cob, potatoes and melted butter. Also available as a side item is a dip of mayonnaise, hot sauce and citrus, a very traditional dipping sauce for the crawfish tails.
As the season wears on, the crawfish grow even bigger. According to Collins, the prime part of the season is just days away. “We’re able to serve a medium-size bug right now. Within the next one to three weeks, we’ll be able to serve mostly a jumbo select crawfish.”
So, mark those calendars and get ready to suck some crawfish heads, because the best are yet to come.