NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - It's crawfish time again in Louisiana. That means the delectable crustaceans will be found in boiling pots and slathered over pasta dishes very soon.
There are several crawfish consumption myths that need busting to make your seasonal haul mostly worry-free.
LSU AgCenter nutritionists have researched a few offers up some timely answers.
Crawfish are high in fat and cholesterol: Nope.
They're actually are low in fat, saturated fat and trans fat,
"Three ounces of cooked crawfish contain 116 milligrams of cholesterol, about a third of the maximum daily amount recommended," they say.
Because crawfish are low in fat, saturated fat, trans fat and calories and are high in protein and minerals, they can be included in the diet of anyone who is concerned about cholesterol, fat or calories. A three-ounce serving of farm-raised crawfish cooked with moist heat provides 116 milligrams cholesterol.
Crawfish with a straight tail on a plate of cooked crawfish means it was dead before cooking. Not necessarily the case.
Studies at the LSU AgCenter have shown that a crawfish with a straight tail after boiling may or may not have been dead before to cooking and is not necessarily spoiled. Sometimes crowded conditions in the boiling pot will prevent the tail of a live crawfish from curling.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service says correctly cooked shellfish "Should turn red, and flesh should become pearly opaque."
Leftovers should be frozen within two hours of serving or one hour if temperatures are above 90 degrees. Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for three to four days and frozen for three months.