'Tis the season ...
When it comes to boudin, I prefer traditional, old school renditions, prepared as faithfully as possible to the original, early Cajun boudin. I am not a fan of new wave boudin creations such as crawfish, alligator, chicken, beef, etc. That said, two commercial establishments stand out as having some of the best boudin I've eaten in a lifetime.
The Babineaux brothers, Larry and Rodney, make some exceptional boudin at:
Babineaux’s Slaughter House & Meat Market
1019 Babineaux Road
Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
Babineaux’s boudin is made from fresh-slaughtered hogs. They are an FDA approved slaughterhouse and butcher hogs purchased for slaughter. Each batch that I have bought came from a single hog. So, Babineaux's boudin is essentially homemade. They make both regular white boudin and red (blood). Babineaux's boudin has a distinctive taste in comparison to boudin made from processed (boxed) pork and will vary some depending upon the age, sex and diet of the particular donor hog. It is truly an artisanal product.
Another exceptional boudin is made by Joel Stelly at:
8611 Highway 71
Lebeau, LA 71345
Although not a slaughterhouse, Stelly's makes wonderfully delicious boudin. Their recipe is rustic and robust and remains steadfastly rooted in the old way. One bite is like a backwards trip in a Cajun time machine. To say that Stelly’s boudin is excellent would be an understatement. It's made with love.
Both Babineaux's and Stelly's follow age-old traditions and incorporate various parts of the hog in their boudin, not just the butt or shoulder as most current day makers’ recipes do. This results in a very complex, deep, rich porky umami unfamiliar to many people. Theirs is real, old school boudin as it was meant to be. Just the way I like it.
To say which boudin is the best would be virtually meaningless since Cajun wars have probably been fueled over who makes the best boudin. Both of the above boudiniers warrant a try at your earliest opportunity. Worth the drive from NOLA. Call ahead first.
After reading and listening to his oral history on The Southern Boudin Trail and seeing his product pictured on The Boudin Link, John Saucier’s boudin is at the top of my wish list to try. His persona and approach exude Cajun tradition in the best possible way. If any of you have tried some please chime in.
Saucier’s Sausage Kitchen
2064 Saucier Rd.
Mamou, LA 70554
Here’s a link to an article showcasing boudin by both Mr. Saucier and the Babineaux brothers:
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