Boudin- The Cajun Sausage
Even though Cajuns would NEVER call boudin a “sausage,” Google likes to describe it that way. Boudin is made from a blend of pork cooked down with onions, peppers, seasonings, & cooked rice. This completely cooked mixture is then stuffed into a casing like sausage. To pronounce it correctly, boo – like a ghost says, and then start like you’re saying the name Dan, but just don’t pronounce the n on the end!
Boudin in Cajun Country can be found at grocery stores, delis, gas stations, weddings, birthday parties, holiday parties, but very rarely in a restaurant. We also like to use “unlinked” or uncased boudin as an ingredient in other foods like boudin sandwiches, boudin kolaches, boudin king cakes, boudin stuffed peppers, fried boudin bread, boudin egg rolls, boudin tacos, boudin nachos . . . I’m sure you are getting the picture. This delicious treat is a staple to us Cajuns, but how did we end up with such a unique food?
The origins of boudin date back over two centuries to when the Acadians migrated to Louisiana from Nova Scotia and France. The French have what they call Boudin Blanc and Boudin Noir, but they greatly differ from the boudin created by the Cajuns. Cajuns put their own twist on these known boudin sausages and made something even better!
The original Cajun boudin is what we call today “Red Boudin” or “Blood Boudin.” This type of boudin is exactly what it sounds like . . . boudin with fresh hog’s blood in it. This was most prevalent long ago when the families raised and slaughtered their own hogs, but Blood Boudin is harder to come by these days in Cajun Country due to USDA regulations that make Blood Boudin a challenge to create under the legal guidelines.
All Cajuns have their favorite place or places to get boudin and every boudin is different. Whether it is the seasoning blend used, the amount of rice vs. pork, or the casing used, each boudin is unique. Some of my favorite places to get boudin include Nunu’s in Youngsville, Maurice, and Milton, Johnson’s Bouchaniere in Downtown Lafayette, Chop’s Specialty Meats in Broussard, and Earl’s Cajun Market in Lafayette.
For a helpful guide to begin your boudin journey, visit boudinlink.com
By: Whitney Ross, Lafayette Native