Boiled crawfish are a part of southwest Louisiana culture. Everyone looks forward to crawfish season, and when they're out of season, people can't wait for it to come back around.
But do you know how they get to your table?
The baiting, trapping and gathering process of crawfish is the most time consuming portion of the crawfish business, and it isn't easy.
"You got a lot of long hours, a lot of working hard hours, a lot of hard work in the business," said JT's Seafood owner Brad Soileau.
But once that portion is completed what's next?
The sacks are loaded up and head out for delivery. In the case of crawfish farmer Adrian Augustine, he has a delivery driver. She takes the crawfish sacks from his farm in Fenton, down I-10 to distribute across the lake area, including to Hollier's and JT's Seafood.
But even after delivery from Augustine's farm, there won't be enough to go around at places like JT's. That's why many times seafood vendors buy from several different crawfish farmers, to hopefully meet the demands of consumers with the amount of supplies they have.
When the crawfish arrive at the stores, they're up for grabs.
"When we get crawfish over here at our store, they're for sale," said Soileau.
As fast as they come in the back door, they go out the front, no matter the cost. Crawfish seem to be something consumers just can't live without. Soileau says it's primarily because of our location.
"You can go to Shreveport, they like crawfish, but not like here," said Soileau. "You can go to Natchez, Mississippi. They might like crawfish but not like here. It's just this part of the country. They just love it."
It's true. Crawfish boils are held as celebrations or a lot of times, just because.
Whether it's the peeling, the flavor or just the idea, crawfish is a very desirable item in southwest Louisiana, no matter the price.
"You used to be able to go get them out of the ditch," said Soileau. "You used to be able to buy them for 20 cents a pound. It's just not happening anymore."
Have you had your boiled crawfish this season?
Crawfish season will start to slowly wind down this month before coming to an end in the first weeks of June.
At that point, the heat makes the crawfish get tough and seek cooler temperatures.