I've been hanging out in New Orleans this past week with the Lousiana Seafood Board and a host of other food bloggers from around the country. Not only did I eat my fill (and then some!) of Gulf shrimp, crab, crawfish, and oysters over the course of our visit, but I met hardworking fisherman, toured seafood processing facilities, and saw how NOLA's top chefs use local seafood in their dishes.
I'll be sharing lots of seafood cooking tips, recipes, and tours from my time in Louisiana over the next few weeks. For now, how about a sneak peek?!
We dove right in with a trip to the Louisiana Seafood Festival where we saw a cooking demonstration of fresh Gulf shrimp paired with Creole tomatoes in a simple summer salad. Did you know there are three kinds of Louisiana shrimp: brown, white, and freshwater?
Commander's Palace is a must for anyone visiting New Orleans. I wanted to hang out in their kitchen and pick apart each spicy, creamy, tasso-filled dish. Afterwards, we went to the New Orleans School of Cooking and learned how to make crab bisque, authentic crawfish étouffée, and yes (oh, yes!), pralines.
Maybe my favorite day of the whole trip, we went crabbing and then saw how Louisiana crabs fresh off the boat are processed and shipped out in under twenty-four hours. Afterwards, we were treated to a genuine crawfish boil and met with an oyster fisherman as he brought in his day's haul.
Following our introduction to Gulf oysters, we visited Motivatit Seafood and watched their process for delivering gold-band oysters, ready for slurping, to oyster bars across the country.
Deep sea fishing! I'd never been and catching my first snapper made me proud as all get out. Interestingly, we found the best fishing spot next to an oil rig. The underwater infrastructure of the rig makes an artificial reef that supports a bounty of sea life. I thought this relationship between oil and seafood was fascinating.
In the next few weeks, I'll be sharing many more pictures and stories from my Louisiana seafood adventure. Here's a little more information about the trip and the rest of the bloggers on the trip:
• Hook, Line, and Bloggers: 5 Days with Louisiana Seafood from Louisiana Seafood
Do you eat Louisiana seafood? Do you have any questions you'd like answered?
Related: Celebrate Seafood: Dinner at the New England Aquarium
(Information for this post was gathered during a press trip to New Orleans sponsored by the Louisiana Seafood Board. All views and opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author.)
(Images: Emma Christensen)