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  Once a food common only to Bayou country, crawfish is becoming a popular shellfish elsewhere.  People are finding out how delicious high quality crawfish can be.
  Customer satisfaction with crawfish will be determined in part by a quality of crawfish which you purchase. This brochure outlines ways to evaluate the quality of crawfish and obtain maximum shelflife from each shipment.
Why is "Purging" Important to Crawfish Quality?

Purging Tank    To purge means to free from purify.  Crawfish farmers have adopted the extra step of purging to provide consumers with a superior-tasting, hardy animal with a longer shelflife.  Here's how purging works.
   After crawfish are harvested from ponds, they are placed in holding tanks which contain clean, free flowing water.  In the purge tank crawfish naturally reduce the size of their characteristically gritty sand vein.  Reducing the size of this vein minimizes off-oders, off flavors and fishy taste.  Purging also allows crawfish to "bathe", removing any mud which may have adhered to the shell and gills during harvest.  This is why a sack of purged crawfish will provide a true weight and not soil coolers and holding areas. Cages of Purging Tank   Also, purged crawfish have a longer shelflife because cleaned gills allow the animal to transfer air efficiently.  In essence, purging dictates how the animal will taste, how long it will stay alive, and how clean your preperation area will stay!  Purging is the most important determinant of quality!

Price Usually Indicates Quality!

   There is no mandatory public sector inspection or grading of fish and seafood except for clams, oysters, mussels and blue crabmeat.  That makes buying fish and seafood a classic case of buyer beware. crawfish   Since there is no mandatory inspection, no common language exists to describe quality.  Often this leads to deals "almost too good to be true" from vendors offering cheaper than usual products.  These products are usually inferior in quality.  When products are marketed live, inferior quality most often means a greater number of dead animals unsuitable for consumption.  Dead animals should be discarded because you do not know whether they have been dead for two hours or two days.

*Crawfish that have been held in refrigeration sometimes appear to fail to "wake up". While these crawfish are alive, their systems take longer to come out of hybernation. All crawfish bagged at Southeast Texas Crawfish farm are bagged live GUARANTEED.

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