For some, South Louisiana’s lenten season is a time of self-restriction. For forty days the faithful deny themselves the vices they otherwise enjoy year round. However, the most common form of lenten restriction is dietary. This behavioral shift limits meat consumption by the faithful and causes a boon to local seafood mongers. Crawfish is particularly coveted this time of year and our bouts with the polar vortices haven’t been especially kind to the mudbug. Like all homeotherms, cold weather lowers crawfish metabolism sending them into a sort of suspended animation. When water temperatures are below 50 degrees crawfish don’t do anything except sit in the mud. As the temperature warms, crawfish prices will decline from their record highs of the past two months.
I met with Tu and Cindy Le who are the proprietors of Country Corner on Perkins Road across from Garden District Coffees to discuss the current state of affairs in the crawfish trade. They have been selling boiled crawfish at their business for the past 15 years. When asked about the surge in price Cindy remarked that “This is the most expensive its ever been. The prices will come down after Easter though.” I asked if the prices had any effect on their business. Tu added that “Orders are usually half of what they were last year. People who would buy 10 pounds now only buy 5.” Despite the high price of this delicacy Baton Rouge has an insatiable appetite for crawfish. This is evident in the fact that Country Corner sold over 1500 pounds of mudbugs during the St. Patrick’s Day parade.
While I was waiting on the first batch to finish boiling–which is usually at 1:30 pm everyday–the price dropped from $5.39 to $4.99 per pound. A short line of folks was queuing up for their share of the first batch. The crawfish sold here is delicious and made for a customer on the go. While the weather is still cold hope for the heat to come and lower those prices so we can all enjoy our state’s favorite crustacean without going broke.
For your convenience I’ve compiled a list of some boiled crawfish spots and their price per pound as of 3/17.