Friday, February 5, 2016

2016 Louisiana Trip – Day 12 – Conrad’s Rice Mill, Raising Crawfish, & Bon Creole

Henderson temps - 72/49, home temps - 55/26

It was our next to last day and there were two things Bev really wanted to do – both in New Iberia.  First on the agenda was to visit the Conrad Rice Mill which is the oldest operating rice mill in America.  The mill was built in 1912 by Philip Amelius Conrad so he and other local growers would not have to ship their rice to New Orleans for milling.  We began in the company store with a short slide show about settlement of the area, growing rice, and the beginnings of the mill.

Then we headed across the parking lot to the mill.

The tour is actually very short because the process is simple and most of the machinery is on the upper floors.  They bring in the dried rice and the first step is to remove the husk and after this the product is brown rice, which I always thought was a different variety.  After that, the bran is removed and the product is then white rice.  While there are many rice varietals, they can be placed in the three main categories of long, medium, and short grained and only the first two are processed here.  Here are a few shots of the ground floor and much of the original machinery is still in use today. 

This is the old bagging station where the cloth bags are sewn by the machine on the left before being filled at the chute on the right.

These are more modern machines for filling plastic bags.

Their products are sold under the brands - Konriko, Hol Grain, and R.M. Quiggs and all of these products are made at this mill. 

Learning: One of the things we learned was that in order to survive in the competitive rice farming business, many of the growers grow crawfish and rice in the same field – check out this short, interesting LINK for how they do it - we actually saw one field with rice stubble and floats on the tops of crawfish traps similar to this shot from the web.  

Our tour guide commented that the early Acadians survived on rice and crawfish but since the mud bugs had “been discovered” the locals can hardly afford them – similar to the early New Englanders and lobster.

After the tour, we spent some time in the store buying a few products then headed off to do the second item on Bev’s list – another visit to Bon Creole for a late lunch, but this time rather than get the overstuffed po boy with the big bun, Bev and I went with the Seafood Platter Basket which contained oysters, fish, shrimp, and crawfish, all fried of course, along with fries, a salad, and a roll.

I didn’t get a shot of Pat’s Shrimp Basket but once again it was very good and we all got a second meal from this one purchase.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


1/25/16 event date


  1. Very interesting about rice farming and crawfish. Crawfish have become very pricey. And you know I love having left-overs from a big meal - what a deal.

  2. I had seen the crawfish and rice fields before but never bothered to check it out. Always lotsa good eating there.

  3. Just browsed through your recent posts on your trip to LA and just love all of the places you and Bev got to visit. So interesting - especially the rice and crawfish fields.

  4. Larry, You guys have maximized this trip that's for sure! You've seen and done a lot... I'm with you, I didn't know that brown and white rice were from the same plant! Cool on the dual use of the rice fields too... That meal is ridiculously huge...and it looks great! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  5. I can't believe they grow rice and crawfish in the same field. Sounds like it was an interesting tour. Love the fried seafood basket - yum!

  6. What a cool old rice mill . . . we love to visit sites like that. Always so educational about life gone by.

  7. Well you're most certainly eating well on this trip. It all looks incredible. And so interesting about the rice mill. I'd love to go to that store, I'd come out with way too much product. And very smart to grow rice and crawfish. I'm sure you're worried sick about all of here in Denver and as you should be. We're all a twitter gearing up for tomorrow, nervous, excited and planning way too much food for gatherings. Wouldn't it be wonderful for Peyton to go out on top. I trust you'll be wearing orange tomorrow. Go Broncos.

  8. Looks like a fun stop. That food looks delish. Al and I took full advantage of all the fresh seafood available during our time along the coast. Fried shrimp still remains a favorite.

  9. It's always interesting to learn about the local economy of an area. I grew up in an area of Texas where rice was as important as cattle.

  10. I had no idea about processing rice. Very interesting post. I would love some of that fish!


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