I don’t forget it like it was yesterday — the get started of the 2020 crawfish season, months prior to we learned a pandemic would strike our nation. I was feasting on a platter of boiled crawfish at a nearby eatery’s communal table. I questioned two diners up coming to me if they had been taking pleasure in their crawfish and one replied, “These are just Okay, but absolutely nothing as opposed to what we experienced at Chris’s Specialty Food items in Frisco a handful of weeks in the past.”
At that second, my quest for reliable Cajun cuisine in North Texas would be eternally modified. Times afterwards, I headed north to Frisco to test out this seize-and-go Cajun specialty-food items shop. Tucked in a strip searching heart just off the support highway, Chris’s Specialty Foods could possibly make you truly feel like you’ve traveled across state strains to a Louisiana community meat marketplace. It is a desire occur real for Dallas-spot Bayou-point out transplants or people like me, who simply adore authentic Louisiana cuisine.
Like Saturday Night Are living’s “Stefon” character would say: “This position has almost everything.” Just inside of the entrance are cabinets stocked with Louisiana-sourced grocery staples like Camellia crimson beans (the most popular manufacturer for vintage crimson beans and rice), containers of gumbo roux blend, cans of Blue Runner-model creamy, crimson beans (and navy beans), and New Orleans’ notorious Cafe Du Monde beignet mix. The retail store also sells its very own signature Cajun seasoning.
A number of measures ahead is the mouthwatering meat case, displaying house-built boudin and sausages alongside with hand-slice steaks and contemporary Alaskan salmon (from their most popular fishmonger). The keep also sells crawfish tails, shrimp and other seafood and meats. And cracklins — crispy, twice-fried meaty pork tummy chunks showered in the market’s Cajun spices. (I require a second please.)
How did Chris’s Specialty Meals, started in 1994 in Maurice, La. (with places in Baton Rouge, Prairieville and New Orleans) conclude up in Frisco, Texas? For this, we owe a personal debt of gratitude to Louisiana-native William Durand, who prompt to his enterprise associates that Frisco would be a great place for their 1st Texas retail store.
“When I was in culinary school in Louisiana, I interned at one of the initial merchants,” suggests Durand, who to start with realized to get ready genuine Cajun meals like sausage, étouffées, boudin and gumbo as a teenager operating at his father’s meat industry. “One day, in the course of my internship, I set my spin on a turducken and my professionals [and future business partners] reported, ‘Keep it up, this is fantastic.’”
The Frisco locale, which opened in December 2019, was normally a get-n-go thought. So when the pandemic hit, company didn’t actually suffer. As a substitute, it received momentum. “When individuals experienced to quarantine, our house-cooked delicacies provided a sense of consolation they seemed to take pleasure in,” Durand says.
And now, all through crawfish year, you can experience what may perhaps be some of the most effective, nicely-seasoned, slurp-worthy crawfish available in our location.
“We source our offer from a spouse and children-owned Louisiana crawfish farm two times a 7 days all through the time, which commonly lasts through June,” Durand states. He claims the very first shipment is in by Thursday and the crawfish is boiled and sold Friday by way of Sunday (with a 2nd cargo arriving Saturday to satisfy buyer desire).
When I to start with purchased a several kilos of crawfish, they were being properly spiced, tender and bursting with a balance of taste and juiciness from staying correctly steeped in the cooking liquid. I returned to my auto, protected my lap with paper towels, and devoured about a pound of them before I left the parking great deal.
The keep also has many nicely-stocked freezers allowing for consumers to seize some ready-to-warmth and/or cook “specialty” entrees like crawfish pies, seafood-stuffed portobello mushrooms, a variety of gumbos (hen and sausage or seafood) that includes a smoky dark roux with a depth of flavor, étouffées, stuffed shrimp and stuffed tilapia.
You also can locate frozen packs of boudin, lean and flavorful chicken sausage, andouille sausage, and the shop’s signature, intensely property-smoked sausage, which is fantastic on its possess and excellent for flavoring standard Cajun dishes like gumbo, purple beans, greens and étouffées. All sausages, facet dishes, entrees and stuffed meats are created on web site.
Let us circle again to the boudin. There is grocery-shop boudin and there’s THIS boudin, which options extra meat than rice, elevated with environmentally friendly onions and spices. Once more, it is available fresh or frozen. And now, you can purchase specific boudin king cakes, which are a wreath of pastry stuffed with boudin and cheese and sprinkled with bacon.
Frozen aspect dishes in the seize-n-go freezers incorporate creamed spinach, mac and cheese, rice dressing, purple beans and rice, and Cajun mashed potatoes. (A decadent carb feast.) Each individual dish is organized in the current market with the exact same passion Durand has had for food his entire daily life.
Buyers also flock to the retail outlet for other frozen specialties like stuffed chickens (available in six succulent varieties), Durand’s turducken, stuffed pork tenderloins and chops. “Our stuffed solutions have turn into a hit with several of our regular prospects, so we are making them nearly everyday,” Durand claims. “And during this past holiday break year, we produced and bought a document range of our fried and our smoked turkeys.” There also is a variety of lamb and beef objects offered.
“We enjoy realizing our prospects experience as if they are dealing with a style of the reliable Louisiana cuisine they’ve regarded most of their life, and we’re also thrilled to introduce other people to the taste of ‘certified Cajun’ food items with the objects we put together and market in our keep,” Durand adds.
In accordance to Durand, the infamous Mardi Gras pastry tradition — Gambino’s King Cakes — have also arrived.
Chris’s Specialty Foods is situated at 6363 Dallas Parkway, Suite 110 in Frisco. 214-308-2800. chrisspecialtyfoods.com.