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Zatarain’s Dishes Up Some Crawfish Secrets (and Free Samples) at Jazz Fest

This feature was produced by Zatarain's, and does not reflect the opinions or point of view of Vox Media or Vox Creative. Vox Media editorial staff was not involved in the creation or production of this content.

Boiled crawfish. Crawfish bread. Crawfish Monica. Those crispy little crawfish sacks with the crawfish beignets. With all due respect to the cochon de lait po-boys and the mango freezes, crawfish is the flavor of Jazz Fest. The next two weekends also happen to mark the beginning of the end of crawfish season. We have just a few more weeks left before our favorite little springtime crustaceans leave us until next year.

With that in mind, Zatarain's will be making the most of the boiling time we have left with crawfish demonstrations during both weekends of Jazz Fest. From noon till 1:30 p.m. on both Fridays of the Fest (April 24 and May 1), Dudley Passman, Director of Food Service for Zatarain's, will be at the Cajun Cabin Stage serving up some crawfish history, boiling tips and free samples. If you've never been to the Cajun Cabin Stage, it's a delightful little setup located directly in front of the grandstand where chefs demo some of the city's great dishes.

Dudley took a few minutes to talk to us about his 50 years of boiling experience and a little bit of what's in store at the Jazz Fest demos.

How long have you been boiling?
I'm almost 58 so I've got to go with, I don't know, 55 years. The first branded product I remember is Zatarain's crawfish boil in those little cloth sacks. Back then in the early '60s you didn't go buy crawfish. If you wanted them you would have to catch them. My dad and uncle would go crawfishing, and we'd boil them that evening. I remember my job was to throw those bags in the pot. So it's been a long time.

Do you do the same boil every year at Jazz Fest, or do you change it up?
It's been pretty much the same. We have people that have been coming almost every year. We've made good friends with people who show up to the demo. I guess it's their traditional way of starting off their Jazz Fest experience. We talk about crawfish. And where they come from. And how crawfish boils started. Then we go through the process of how to boil them. Plus we give away some free crawfish, so maybe that's the draw.

What's the secret of a great boil (other than using Zatarain's, of course)?
Don't overcook them in the beginning, and soak them long enough in the end. It can be that simple.

This feature was produced by Zatarain's, and does not reflect the opinions or point of view of Vox Media or Vox Creative.

If you can't make it out to Jazz Fest this year but you're looking to for some boiling tips, check out this recipe from Zatarain's.

This feature was produced by Zatarain's, and does not reflect the opinions or point of view of Vox Media or Vox Creative. Vox Media editorial staff was not involved in the creation or production of this content.