What Does Crawfish Taste Like?

Crawfish is a very common shellfish that is hugely popular in the USA. That being said, it is very well loved in many locations around the world but there are many people who are still yet to enjoy its delicious flavour.  

As much as 95% of all the crawfish that is eaten in America comes from the States, Louisiana specifically. But these creatures are found internationally in various bodies of freshwater; it’s little surprise then, that they are so widely eaten.  

If you are keen to get your teeth into some juicy fresh crawfish but still aren’t sure whether the taste will be something you’ll like, then you are in the right place. Let’s find out what crawfish tastes like.  

What’s The Difference Between A Crawdad And A Crawfish? 

Depending on where you are from you might use the term crawdad or crawfish to describe the same animal. What’s more, there is another common term for this creature called the crayfish which is typically used by those from the northern states.

In Louisiana, where these shellfish are harvested and eaten a lot, crawfish is the most common term.  

There are even some parts of the United States where people refer to these animals as mud bugs and we think that’s rather sweet.  

In any case, crawfish are small shellfish that are often compared to things like lobster and shrimp. They are freshwater animals and so do not have that salty taste that one would associate with seafood.  

What Does Crawfish Meat Taste Like? 

While crawfish are often compared to lobster and shrimp, they don’t tend to taste like any particular one of these. Instead, many would agree that the crawfish has a combined flavor of each of these as well as a hint of crab.

However, owing to the fact that crawfish do not live in the ocean, they are typically less salty and more sweet.  

What does crawfish tail taste like? 

The tail of the crawfish is where you will find most of the meat and as such, this is the part that is most commonly eaten. The tail is where you will discover that sweet flavor we have discussed, but many people are adamant that the crawfish head is where the real action is.  

What does crawfish head taste like? 

OK, we know what you are thinking, nobody wants to eat the head of anything but where crawfish are concerned, a lot of people would agree that the flavor is incredible.

There is no meat in the head but once you have remembered it, you can take a long suck to release the moisture and taste; if you can get your own head around what you are doing, of course. 

Many have compared the taste of the ‘crawfish butter’ that comes from the head as being similar to foie gras if it had been a sea food. It’s considered something of a delicacy for the masses.  

Is Crawfish Better Than Shrimp? 

Whether or not crawfish is better than shrimp will depend on your personal preference. However, one of the great things about crawfish is how it is traditionally prepared which could give it the upper hand when it comes to battling it out with shrimp.  

Down in the deep south, crawfish is made with cajun seasoning which gives it a warm, spicy and aromatic kick. This blend of spices which can include cayenne pepper, garlic, paprika and oregano is unique and incredibly tasty.  

Cooking crawfish is incredibly simple and can be done by simply boiling the fish for around 15 minutes before leaving them to rest for the same amount of time. Of course, if you prefer, they can be eaten without any seasoning to get a truly natural flavor.  

One of the greatest things about crawfish, however, is that this is a highly social food. In the southern parts of the USA, people make a big deal out of eating crawfish and it is common for people to have a crawfish boil.

This is an opportunity to catch up with friends, have fun, and of course, chow down on some tasty crawfish, butter and all! 

Is Crawfish Good For You? 

Crawfish is a good option for anyone who is following a calorie controlled diet as it is very low in calories.

However, this is far from being the only nutritional benefit of this popular seafood as crawfish contain a lot of essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin B12, copper, iron, and niacin.  

Does Crawfish Go Bad? 

In the most traditional manner, crawfish is caught and eaten soon thereafter. If you want to keep to a rustic trend then you would keep live crawfish in a bucket of water until you are ready to cook them.

However, some people may not feel comfortable with this and luckily, there are other ways you can store them.  

If you have purchased frozen crawfish from the store, then these must remain frozen until you’re ready to cook them. Before boiling the crawfish, you must defrost them thoroughly. 

One of the best ways to tell the freshness of a crawfish is to look at the tail. Those that are dead before they are boiled will have a straight tail and will often be lacking in taste. If they were dead and not frozen, you can bet your bottom dollar that they will have a rotten taste.  

If you risk eating spoiled crawfish then there is a significant risk of developing a specific type of food poisoning known as vibrosis which can cause nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, lethargy and diarrhea among other symptoms.  


Crawfish is sometimes called crayfish or crawdad but these are all names for the same freshwater shellfish that is hugely popular across parts of the southern United States.

These sweet, meaty fish are typically cooked with cajun spices but can be eaten plain when they are often compared to a cross between shrimp, lobster, and crab.