NEW ORLEANS — We all have Thanksgiving traditions and for many of us in New Orleans that includes a little seafood with our meal, specifically oysters.
Oyster dressing is a New Orleans favorite, so right now, oysters are in high demand. But they're also in short supply.
"This year it took 7.5 dozen oysters to put in the dressing," said Cindi Hereford who is preparing a Thanksgiving meal for her family.
She's been making oyster dressing for 40 years.
"Being from New Orleans, we have to go Cajun. It's in our blood," Hereford said.
Her favorite place to get oysters is Dennis' Seafood in Metairie.
"We've been busy," said Dennis' owner, Denny Lacoste.
He knows Thanksgiving means a high demand for oysters to make oyster dressing, but the Bonnet Carre spillway opening had him worried.
"It was a scare at first with the oysters since they were in short demand," Lacoste said. "The last couple weeks they opened up more reefs and it really helped a lot."
Thankfully, he has some for sale.
"Everything's starting to come back," Lacoste said. "Just in time."
Still, there is short supply so prices are up.
"We're selling gallons for $89 normally they're about $72, $73," he said.
Right now he's selling a dozen oysters for $8.99. He remembers selling them for $6.99 last year.
"A lot of people don't care what the price is, they want their oysters," he said.
It could still be a couple years until the oyster industry recovers.
"We're getting what we need, thank God," Lacoste said.
It's a busy week at grocery stores too. Rouses is getting their oysters from the gulf.
"It did affect a lot of the people who harvest oysters so now we have to reach out to the gulf oysters to make sure we have enough supply," said Rouses store director Brian Brocato.
Prices may be up, but for Hereford you can't put a price on this tradition that she shares with her family year after year.