Some of the most delicious meals and dishes in the world use crawfish as their main ingredient. It has become a staple in cuisines all over America, and it has seen use in quite a number of fusion cultures, such as our very own Viet-Cajun here in Houston, Texas.
There is, however, so much more to know about crawfish other than the fact that they are delicious. They are curious and unique creatures that are an integral part of ecosystems around the world.
The evolution of the crawfish
There are over 300 species of this creature worldwide, which are broken down into three families: Astacidae, Cambridae, and Parastacidae. The Cambridae crawfish is what you are probably most familiar with, as this type is found only in the Northern Hemisphere. They share an ancestor with the modern lobster, making them closely related.
They are characterized by a joined head and thorax (the midsection) and a segmented body that is sandy yellow, green, red, or dark brown in color. The head ends in a sharp snout with compound eyes on movable stalks. As are all crustaceans, they are covered in a thin but tough exoskeleton or shell. They have ten pairs of limbs throughout their body, including that familiar pair of powerful pincers up front.
They grow to about three inches long, but there are species in Tasmania that grow up to sixteen inches long and weigh about eight pounds.
Crawfish (or crayfish, crawdads, freshwater lobsters, mountain lobsters, and so on) are freshwater crustaceans that resemble their sea-born lobster cousins. They live in freshwater habitats that do not freeze over in the winter, such as rivers and streams. They hide under rocks, logs, sand, mud, and vegetation in the water. Some terrestrial species even make burrows and construct little chimneys from moist soil, spending their whole lives buried until they need to find a mate.
There are a few species of crawfish that have evolved to live in tropical habitats, but most are found in temperate regions. They live on all continents except the Indian subcontinent (and Antarctica, of course), but there is one crawfish species native to the island of Madagascar. This is, of course, in addition to being found on the plates of the best crawfish restaurant in Houston.
They use their powerful legs to scuttle across the bottoms of riverbeds, streams, and rice paddies all over the world, feeding mostly on dead plants and animals. You might not see them out and about through the day, but you might just catch a glimpse of one if you shine a flashlight through the water at night.
Their nutritional value
Cooked crawfish offers a wide array of vitamins and nutrients. They are rich in B-complex vitamins, amino acids, iron, proteins, and a whole lot of healthy nutrients. Not only would a trip to your local crawfish restaurant be filling and delicious, but it would also be quite nutritious.
The American species of crawfish might be small, but they are an important staple in the culture of Texas. They are representative of what delicious things may come when two cultures get together and exchange ideas. Not only that, but they taste pretty heckin’ amazing too.
If you’re looking for the best crawfish restaurant in Houston, look no further than Crawfish Cafe. We serve the best Viet-Cajun cuisine and have been featured in numerous publications for our delectable menu items.
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