Swamp Critters

The crawfish boil is a tradition Southern Louisianans look forward to all winter. Farmed crawfish are available nearly year-round. But the tastier wild crawfish found in the Atchafalaya Basin, a two-hour drive east of New Orleans, are dormant from November to February. When the waters of the swamp start to rise in the spring, the mudbugs wake up and wander into the traps of commercial fishermen like Gregg Sedotal, a 40-year-old Cajun from Pierre Part, Louisiana. Sedotal supports his family catching crawfish (and crab in the winter months) that he sells to seafood distributors, which then sell to seafood shops and New Orleans restaurants. In one of the first weeks of crawfish season, Sedotal took CHOW out to the Atchafalaya Basin, to show how he catches the crustaceans. (Throw your own boil with our recipe.)

Published March 23, 2007