NEW ORLEANS — For the third year in a row, Rouses Markets here staged its annual Crawfish Eating Championship at the French Quarter Festival, and for the third year in a row, the same woman won the contest, successfully eating 3.3 pounds of boiled, unshelled crawfish in 10 minutes.
Sonya Thomas (pictured), aka The Black Widow, hailing from Alexandria, Va., beat her own record and easily beat Crazy Legs Conti, an oyster-eating specialist from New York, who ate just 2.8 pounds and took second place.
For the whole weekend of the festival that started April 14, Rouses was boiling crawfish in the French Quarter — a total of 30,000 pounds before the weekend was over.
A plate of Rouses’ crawfish retailed for $8, and included potatoes, corn and Rouses’ own smoked sausage, all boiled with a Rouses blend of spices, a spokeswoman for the 38-unit Thibodeaux, La.-based retailer told SN. A new family-sized plate of crawfish was debuted this year for $25, she added.
She pointed out, too, that Rouses launched a new festival offering this year — barbecue ribs — at a different location, down by the river. A plate of ribs retailed for $8, and included sides of turnip greens and corn pudding.
During crawfish season, Rouses boils crawfish every day in their stores, and customers can get them hot from the pot 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., the spokeswoman said.
Every year during the season, Rouses sells more than 3 million pounds of Louisiana crawfish.