During the Christian season of Lent most Catholics do away with eating meat on Friday. The substitute is often seafood. Herb Palombo is the owner of Adrien's Supermarket in Lafayette. “We probably more than double our seafood sales during Lent, without a doubt,” says Palombo.
Palombo says he started to reinforce his seafood inventory at least 2 to 3 weeks ahead. “About what we're going to run in our Ads. What kind of seafood we're going to push. What we're going to do with crawfish. There are a lot of different things we do to try to prepare for it.”
Marcia Chamberlain of Rayne says her family doesn't eat meat on Friday's, Ash Wednesday nor Good Friday. “If you ask me what I'm eating tonight, I'm eating seafood gumbo,” adds Chamberlain.
It's not only supermarkets and seafood suppliers seeing a surge, restaurants have to keep up with the rising tide as well. Danielle Aguillard is the Director of Operations at the Jefferson Street Pub.
Aguillard says from shrimp pasta, fish and chips to speckled trout; the restaurant has to be ready. “There are a lot of people who are Catholic and they observe Lent. So, you want to be able to include everybody and have everybody come and have a good experience and not have to worry if there's going to be something they can eat,” explains Aguillard.
Aguillard says the demand for seafood dishes definitely go up during Lent; another indicator is the internet. “We post every morning and the Likes go up when you start posting the pictures of the fish that we do. Our market fish and our Po'boys. Yes, we definitely see an increase for seafood,” adds Aguillard.
“In South Louisiana, if you're not doing seafood during Lent you're in trouble,” says Palombo.
According the to the Diocese of Lafayette, the total Catholic population for them is little over 292,000.