SLIDELL, La. (WGNO)- It may not feel like fall yet, but it is and it’s the season for crabbing! This year the Louisiana blue crabs are bigger than ever and they are being processed at Pontchartrain Blues.
News with a Twist Reporter Kenny Lopez shows you how the crabs get from the lake to your plate!
“We go out in a boat around 4 in the morning, put fuel in it, and go run 400 crab traps in these cages,” Gary Bauer at Pontchartrain Blues said.
At Pontchartrain Blues out in Slidell, they certainly know the ins and outs of processing crabs. They’ve been doing so for years! Before they can do anything with these feisty crabs, they need to calm them down first.
“We need to ice them, so they don’t bite. The ice calms them down,” he said.
Carefully they then separate the crabs between males and females.
“The female crabs have their finger nails, their claws painted red, like nail polish, and the male crabs are blue. Also another way to tell is the shape of their shell,” Bauer said.
Moving right along, the crabs are then cooked in boilers, then the meat is taken out of the shells.
“The average amount is four pounds of meat taken out in one hour,” he said.
The crabs are weighed and packages and ready to ship out.
“Being here at Pontchartrain Blues really makes you understand the process of crabbing. Sometimes we buy the crabs, or we see them on a plates at restaurants, but we just take for granted some times the whole process,” Karen Profita, Executive Director with the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board said.
Another fun fact we learned about crabs is why sometimes their crabs are soft versus hard. We learned that like snakes shed their skins, crabs will shed their shells. For 8 hours their shells will be soft, so that’s when you can fry up the soft shell crabs.
Chef John Folse of Restaurant R’evolution recently visited Pontchartrain Blues, along with others from restaurants and hotels all over the country. Folse had this to to say about their crabs and the crabbing industry in Louisiana.