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CRAWFISH: opinions on these tasty little fellas

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I love crawfish as much as any food known to mankind. However, I get little info on where restaurants and suppliers get their bugs from. Farmed down south or (dreaded) asia. What do chowhounders know about the source of crawfish in NYC dining establishments? Safety concerns related to pollution? I have heard various worrisome things, but conflicting reports cause confusion. ???

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  1. outside of flying them in from the gulf coast or flying there,i think almost all frozen crawfish i see in ny is imported from the far east.my friend had an amazing cajun place on long island and flew in several hundred pounds once a year for an all you can eat crawfish boil/catfish fry.i sure miss that.

    2 Replies
    1. re: davmar77

      I have heard restaurants say that their frozen shelled crawfish are farmed, from the southern states. Maybe no one will admit to selling asian bugs. I refrain from eating them unless I know where they come from, and I will not eat asian crawfish (or any other seafood).

      1. re: davmar77

        What are the safety issues, if any, with Crayfish?

        I pull specimens in my Minnow trap regularly up here in Ontario. One of my sources is a river draining agricultural areas that are into livestock and grain production. The others are Lake Huron and its Georgian Bay arm with less effluent.

        I've long been curious. The "Mudbugs" can go to 8 inches in the open water.

      2. Two months ago I had some delicious mud bugs from the California delta boiled live. You can order them from Bob's Bait Shop aka The Master Baiter (check the Places record).

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        Bob's Bait Shop
        302 2nd St, Isleton, CA

        1 Reply
        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Wild mudbugs are in season from the gulf states starting in March when the heavy rains flood ditches and ponds. We used to harvest them by throwing a seine in the ditch and a few chicken necks on top of the seines, wait a while and pull the seine up loaded with Crawdads. you can order them fresh or frozen from La from cajungrocer.com.

        2. We get them in the farmer's market sometimes in the summer, live from the Sacramento River delta. I wonder if you posted on some of your more local boards, you might find a small scale source where you could get live ones. I don't know if they live in the northeast, but you could try. I agree that they are awefully tasty!

          1. Most, though not all, crawfish in this country are raised in the U.S. Some, apparently, are raised on those Asian fish farms aka toxic waste storage ponds. If a restaurant has agood reputation, ask them. If they hem and haw, I'd skip it.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mpalmer6c

              IKEA used to have them in the frozen section (meat only)...from Sweden...good price and flavor/texture....do not buy the frozen crawfish meat from China....nasty...nasty...farmed stuff...

              1. re: Pollo

                I'll add that we need to do what we can to support American agriculture and the "little guy" who's feeling enough pressure without the competition from China.

                I'd go without before I bought frozen crawfish (are any food for that matter) from China. I don't dislike Chinese folks, I just thing eating as close to home as possible is the responsible thing to do.