Dear Australian seafood lovers,
I am not a lobster.
Sure, I am a crustacean with an external skeleton and segmented body. And I can grab a good hold of you with my pincers like a lobster does with its claws, but I am not a lobster. I am a crayfish.
Unlike a lobster, two of my fore legs are made for walking (and that’s just what they do). You’ll find me a lot closer inland, as I like my freshwater rivers, lakes, dams, streams and ponds as opposed to the depths of the oceans and seas.
We’re also the little guys compared to lobsters. We usually grow quite slowly and only reach 7 to 15 centimetres in length. We eat tiny insects, small molluscs, and decaying matter found on the waterbed.
Most of my other crayfish relatives live out in North America. But there are a few of my kind lurking in waters around the world. If you’re in Australia, you may have heard of my brother, the giant Tasmanian freshwater crayfish, or my sister, the Murray crayfish.
I haven’t eaten a lobster before, but I reckon we crayfish taste better than them. So if you’re going to eat us, you better do it right.
The darker we are, the healthier we are – and tastier we are. You don’t have to worry about our missing apendages though – we can still be healthy as amputees as well! Also, contrary to popular belief, a curled or straight tail has nothing to do with our freshness. Just be sure to keep us moist and out of the sun for maximum freshness.
Now not all parts of us crayfish can be eaten. I know you seafood lovers sometimes relish in sucking the fats and juices out of our heads. After all, that’s the part of our body that absorbs most of the spices. But it is also common to only find our tail part to be served at restaurants.
But the next time you are looking for us, don’t expect us to be in the section under the sign “lobster” because we are not lobsters. And don’t even get me started on trying to explain that we aren’t rock lobsters either. You can read the difference between a rock lobster and lobsters here [link to other article].
The Crayfish of Australia