A new project at Louisiana State University may eventually extend the crawfish season through the fall, but a local seafood purveyor says many consumers don't realize live mudbugs are already available through Halloween.
"You can get crawfish from the Pacific Northwest," Jon Alexis, co-owner of TJ's Fresh Seafood Market says. "If you're hankering for crawfish, it's a great option."
The Louisiana crawfish season typically starts in late January and lasts through June, depending on the weather. Researchers at Louisiana State University are now exploring the commercial possibilities of shrimp crawfish, which - unlike red swamp and white river crawfish -- would be ready for harvest around October.
"If they could get this timed with the college football season, oh my gosh," Alexis says. "Because it's such a social thing: Rarely do people have crawfish for one."
Alexis suspects Pacifastacus crawfish haven't become a staple of tailgating because consumers consider Louisiana crawfish fattier and richer than their wild Northwestern cousins. And, he adds, "People hear Portland and they say, 'eh, well...'"
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Alexis says few customers even think about crawfish in the fall. But he believes Louisiana crawfish could help fans shake their allegiance to seasonal habits.
"It seems like we'd all get the message out," he says.
Louisiana crawfish season ended on July 4 this year, but TJ's is stocking Gulf crawfish tail meat
"Crawfish has not been affected by the oil spill," Alexis says. "People ask what they can do to help, they can buy Gulf seafood."