We love our crawfish in Louisiana. We also love to "suck the head" to get all of that delicious crawfish fat out. What if I told you, the crawfish fat we thought we've been eating isn't really fat?

What Is Crawfish Fat?

According to LSU AgCenter nutritionist Beth Reames, the scrumptious yellowish-orange crawfish fat we love so much isn't actually "fat".

OK then, so what the heck have we been eating?

TSM Staff
TSM Staff

Crawfish fat is prized for its rich, slightly sweet, and distinctly briny flavor. It adds depth and complexity to dishes and is often used to enhance the taste of various recipes, especially those involving crawfish.

To extract crawfish fat, the heads of the crawfish are typically separated from the tails. The fat is then collected from the head by either squeezing or sucking it out.

It is bright orange in color and has a creamy, buttery consistency...and it's amazing.

But, what if we told you what we've been eating isn't actually crawfish fat?

According to Reams, the crawfish fat we've all thought we've been eating is actually something quite different.

From lsu.edu -

The bright yellow to orange crawfish 'fat' squeezed from the heads and sticking to the tail meat is not fat in the usual sense, she says.


It actually is an organ in the head called the hepatopancreas that functions much like the liver in other animals.


Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Like the liver functions in humans, the crawfish's hepatopancreas filters out toxins and other potentially harmful substances.

That's right, we've been eating liver. Crawfish liver...sort of.

However, there is actually some fat in the yellow liver-type organ.

Reams says that the hepatopancreas contains roughly 30 percent fat, so at least our lives haven't been a complete lie.


David Lee, Getty Images/iStockphoto


Does a rose by any other name smell as sweet? You darn right it does. Bring on the crawfish liver!

Crawfish are an excellent source of protein, and are perfect if you're on a diet because they're are low in fat, saturated fat, trans fat and calories and are high in minerals

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