After the revelry of Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday marks the start of the Catholic tradition of Lent: a time of reflection, prayer, and fasting. This year, Lent will last from February 22 to April 6. Cajun country has many Catholic roots and traditions, so many Cajuns will observe meatless Fridays for Lent. However, this doesn’t mean that Cajuns can’t still enjoy their food!
Lent coincides with the peak of crawfish season in Louisiana, when quality crawfish are the most plentiful and inexpensive. It’s the perfect time for a crawfish boil—a Louisiana Cajun tradition that is filled with zydeco music and enough messy and delicious food to loosen your belt by a few notches. Pounds of crawfish are spread over tables for everyone to enjoy, and the crawfish are tender, juicy and packed with flavor. With all this unforgettable food around, Cajuns genuinely look forward to Fridays during Lent.
Although we’re known for quality pork and meat products at The Best Stop, as an authentic Cajun supplier, we also carry delectable Cajun seafood, spices, sauces, and side dishes. Whether you’re a local, ex-pat, or just curious about Cajun cuisine, we have everything you need for a memorable crawfish boil (except the crawfish).
Preparing the Seafood Boil
A seafood boil generally uses a large pot (around 60 to 80 quarts) heated over propane. A “boil master” keeps track of the order and timing that the ingredients are added to the pot, an art that can draw passionate opinions. First, seasonings are added to the boiling water. These can include salt, lemon, hot sauce, spices, and seafood boil packets. Seafood boil seasoning is a unique blend of Cajun spices that creates a crawfish boil with unmatched flavor and heat. One bag of our house-made seafood boil seasoning is enough for 15 to 20 pounds of crawfish—and it’s also available in 4 pound bags for bigger boils!
Plenty of vegetables are also added to the pot —usually corn, potatoes, garlic, and mushrooms. If it’s not a Friday, you can also consider adding smoked sausages to add an extra smoke and flavor kick. We carry andouille sausages as well as chicken or pork sausages mixed with ingredients such as jalapenos and pepper-jack cheese.
When the pot is seasoned and boiling, it’s time to add the seafood. Although crawfish is Acadiana’s claim to fame, shrimp and crabs make for a delicious seafood boil as well! After a few minutes of boiling, the heat is turned off and the seafood soaks in those good Cajun flavors. Once the crawfish are ready, they’re drained with a strainer or a net, then dumped on a table covered with newspaper for all to enjoy.
Once you’re ready to dig in, there are all sorts of sauces you can use to take your crawfish to the next level. While some prefer to stick to classics such as lemons or melted butter, we recommend our Cajun Mayo, which is ideal for dipping your tails and vegetables alike! For those who love the heat, try our The Best Stop XXX Hot Sauce—it’s perfect for adding to your Cajun mayo or just on its own!
Don’t Forget to Stock Up on Seafood Side Dishes
For a proper seafood celebration, don’t forget the seafood side dishes. We stock ready-made seafood delights courtesy of Lena’s Cajun Seafood. Try these for when you need quality Cajun food for a crowd but don’t have time to whip something up from scratch:
- Seafood gumbo, etouffee, or crawfish bisque, ready to be heated and served over rice
- Ready-to-bake crab & shrimp pies, crawfish pies and bite-sized crawfish party pies
- Fettuccine with crab & shrimp or crawfish, ready for the oven
Furthermore, be sure to check out our selection of other seafood products including pistolettes, peeled crawfish tails and alligator meat.
Get Your Friday Boudin Fix
Still missing those delicious Best Stop links on those long Lent Fridays? Good news! The Best Stop has a NEW crawfish boudin that’s guaranteed to make you forget all about the pork (for now, anyway). Perfectly seasoned and Lent-friendly, this delicious new addition to our boudin lineup is a must-try!
Come Check Us Out!
We’d love to see you in our store in Scott (or our new location in Broussard)! If you’re not local but still want to experience a Lenten crawfish boil, you can grab everything you need at our online store. And you don’t have to worry about where to get your Cajun seafood after Lent—our seafood products are available year-round. We ship nationwide and we now offer ground shipping in six more states: Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Georgia, South Carolina & Florida! Happy Lent!