If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating crawfish before, you are in for a tasty treat. Before you dive into the wonderful world of Cajun dishes that contain crawfish, you should know a little bit about this small creature of the sea. Read on to discover what crawfish is, how it tastes, and how you can get the best bite.
What Is Crawfish?
A crawfish is a crustacean that looks like a small lobster, measuring between three and six inches long. They have a hard protective exoskeleton and a total of 10 walking legs with the front two as larger claws, just like lobsters and crabs. You can find these tiny crustaceans on the floor of almost every ocean in the world, though they typically live close to the shoreline. When left alone in the wild, crawfish can live as long as 50 years.
What Does Crawfish Taste Like?
Although crawfish is typically grouped with seafood, it does not have a strong natural flavor like many other delicacies in this group. Compared to crab, crawfish do have a stronger flavor and are usually much meatier. Many people describe the flavor of crawfish as a combination of shrimp and crab, as they are slightly salty, a little sweet, and have a bit of mineral flavor. The taste of crawfish ultimately depends on which parts you are eating and how it’s been prepared.
The edible parts of this sea creature include the claws, tails, legs, tomalley, roe, and outer shell. The claws, legs, and tails are typically considered the most desirable parts of crawfish as they contain the majority of the meat. While the claws have a mild and sweet taste with a smooth texture, the tails are a bit thicker and tougher to chew. Despite the heartiness of the tails, a quarter pound of them contains just 82 calories.
There are many ways to cook crawfish tail. Steaming and boiling are popular options as they are with lobster, but you can also grill, pan sear, broil, or bake them. While they have a unique flavor on their own, crawfish tails are perfect for Cajun seafood recipes that utilize a variety of tasty spices and ingredients.
The next time you’re poring over the menu at Crazy Alan’s Swamp Shack, consider the well-loved crawfish. You might just discover your new favorite seafood.