The secrets to finding fresh crawfish in New Orleans

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The secrets to finding fresh crawfish in New Orleans

New Orleans is home to some of the most renowned seafood restaurants in the country. If you have a seafood restaurant here in the Big Easy, and you want to set yourself apart from competitors, you should focus on freshness. This is key when it comes to turning casual diners into repeat customers.

The team at Tommy's Seafood, Inc., a leading seafood processor, is sharing the top 3 tips to finding fresh crawfish in New Orleans.

1. Stick to red swamp crawfish

Crawfish are available in many different species. There are about 150 species in the United States alone, and over 500 species worldwide. According to Seafood Watch, which puts out industry reports on the best seafood options, red swamp crawfish are the healthiest and most sustainable choice in Louisiana.

This species in particular is the most sustainable because when farmed in ponds, the production process results in minimal impact to the environment. With this method, no antibiotics or pesticides are needed, so there’s no risk of harmful chemicals being introduced into the surrounding environment.

Another benefit is that farmed red swamp crawfish rarely carry disease or pathogens, which ensures the best quality for your customers. This species is also native to Louisiana, so there is very little risk of harming local populations of crawfish.

A healthy alternative to red swamp crawfish is Callinectes sapidus, commonly known as the blue crab. Native to the Gulf of Mexico, this tasty crustacean is a cousin to the crawfish, and it’s known for its rich, buttery flavor.

2. Farming and trapping methods are also important

For the freshest crawfish in New Orleans, go with a supplier that farms their crawfish in ponds rather than using traps. As mentioned above, farming crawfish in local ponds results in minimal harm to the natural environment, and this method doesn’t require the use of antibiotics or chemicals.

If your supplier doesn’t farm their crawfish in ponds, you still have options. According to Seafood Watch, the next best choice is crawfish that has been caught locally with traps.

3. Pay attention to where your supplier gets their crawfish

Where your food comes from plays a big role in how fresh it will be. It’s always best to choose a supplier who sources their crawfish locally, as opposed to importing it from somewhere else.

When it comes to finding fresh crawfish in New Orleans, Seafood Watch recommends choosing a supplier that sources their crawfish here in Louisiana. If you find a supplier that imports from China, you should look elsewhere.

There is little-to-no regulatory enforcement in China, which poses big risks for the environment. Fertilizers and other chemicals are also known to be used. Because there are virtually no regulations in place, you can’t be sure if the crawfish you’re getting from China is fresh and healthy. But, with so many better options locally, there’s really no reason to choose imported crawfish.

Browse our selection of fresh crawfish in New Orleans

Tommy's Seafood, Inc., offers a full selection of fresh crawfish in New Orleans, as well as shrimp, oysters, and more. Browse our high-quality seafood products here, or contact us to learn more.