Seafood Seasons of Louisiana

Seafood Seasons of Louisiana

 
Twitter Facebook
Twitter Facebook

Forget winter, spring, summer and fall. In Louisiana, we can tell what time of year it is based on what seafood is freshest.

Crab

In Season: February–December

Just to give you some perspective of how important crabbing is to Louisiana, here are some fun facts about it: The state is the No. 1 supplier of domestic blue crab in the nation, and more than 80 percent of the Gulf’s blue crab harvest comes from our shores. On average, 45 million pounds of crabs are caught in Louisiana every year, in fisheries that were first in the nation to be certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.

A healthy portion of that harvest stays in Louisiana. Blue crab is an important ingredient in Cajun and Creole dishes, and throughout much of the year you’ll find whole fried soft-shell crabs and crab-and-shrimp gumbo on menus from Venice to Shreveport.

Shrimp

In Season: January, April–November

Shrimp is quite possibly Louisiana’s most popular seafood, thanks to its mild flavor and adaptability to a wide range of dishes. They include shrimp po’boys, which began as the comfort food of choice for working-class Louisianians. Today you’ll find the sandwich taken to new, adventurous heights in restaurants across the state.

The same can be said for Louisiana shrimp itself. For example, at LOLA in Covington, former King of Louisiana Seafood Keith Frentz serves pickled shrimp, shrimp salad and shrimp-and-grits. At Peche in New Orleans, you’ll find another former King of Louisiana Seafood, Ryan Prewitt, serving up shrimp au gratin on menus in the cooler months.

And if you’d like to get the most up-close look at Louisiana shrimp, head down to the port of Delcambre and buy directly from commercial shrimpers. Visit DelcambreDirectSeafood.com for more info.

Crawfish

In Season: January–June, November–December

On weekends in spring, you can tell it is crawfish season by the scent of seasonings coming from backyard boils. Crawfish is the official Louisiana state crustacean and can be found in pies, gumbo, étouffée and countless other dishes.

Trust the experts: According to 2015 King of Louisiana Seafood chef Mike Brewer, when he was living in Mobile, Alabama he would sometimes drive 275 miles to Black’s Oyster Bar in the Cajun Country town of Abbeville—just for its crawfish.

Oysters

In Season: January–December

Don’t believe the old wives’ tale about how you should only eat oysters in months ending in the letter “r”—our oysters are delicious and healthy any time of year. Get them at their plump best in cooler months, when they are particularly large and flavorful.

Due to the fact that oysters stay in one place their entire lives, they tend to take on characteristics of water that surrounds them. Oysters from St. Bernard Parish waters, for instance, will taste different from those caught in Vermilion Bay. That biodiversity is just one more reason to try a wide range of oysters throughout your travels in Louisiana.

Fish

In Season: January–December

Drum, snapper, grouper, redfish, speckled trout and sheepshead are just a handful of the kinds of finfish you’ll see on Louisiana menus. With this kind of diversity, you’re sure to find Louisiana-born fish at markets and restaurants no matter the time of year.

Alligator

In Season: January–December

This is the kind of creature that visitors to Louisiana pay top dollar just to get a glimpse of on swamp and airboat tours. And for good reason—set against the dramatic backdrop of cypress swamps, the site of alligators makes it easy to imagine you’re in a real-life Jurassic Park.

The so-called king of the swamp, particularly its tender tail meat, also happens to be delicious. Alligator sauce piquante is a local favorite you’ll find on menus, and you’ll also find it deep-fried and grilled. Alligator dishes are sometimes hard to come across at restaurants and markets, so when you find it, get it. You’ll be part of a small group of those who can say you’ve tasted this quintessential Louisiana delicacy.