So, I’m waiting here in my kitchen before the sun comes up for my friend James to pick me up. We’re headed over to Lafayette to go on a boudin hunt. First stop: the zydeco breakfast at the Cafe des Amis in Breaux Bridge, home of the legendary (to me!) oreille de cochon, a boudin-filled beignet. A dispatch from the Boudin Trail, via Garden & Gun:
I first started eating boudin some seven years ago, once I’d lived in New Orleans long enough to need a breather from urban living and began exploring outside the city’s limits. I experienced my first link ever at Poche’s Market in Breaux Bridge, a town I’ve since come to regard as a boudin hotbed because of its several irresistible destinations: Poche’s for livery links; Charlie T’s for milder, green-onion-spiked specimens; the restaurant Café des Amis for boudin-stuffed omelets; Babineaux Slaughter House for increasingly difficult-to-find boudin rouge (blood boudin); and Bayou Boudin & Cracklin’ for innovative white bean and tasso boudin, as well as fantastically seasoned cracklins.
Some newcomers to boudin country require periods of palate adjustment. The liver component is too exotic, or the soft texture is off-putting, or the deliberate seasonings are challenging (for seasoning-phobes, Floyd Poché, the market’s proprietor, suggests trying a balanced Cajun seven-course meal: one pound of boudin plus a six-pack). Perhaps thanks to my late grandfather’s liverwurst-and-raw-onion sandwich habit, or perhaps because eating in New Orleans had prepared my palate for boudin’s riches, my affection for the sausage was immediate. Acadiana is rural and removed enough—from New Orleans, as well as the rest of the country—that even its largest town, Lafayette, has an old-fashioned charm; the liver in Poche’s boudin seemed to be an edible expression of that. Ditto the boudin’s simple wrapping, its made-today freshness, and its take-it-or-leave-it seasoning. I took to it without condition.
And then, for us today, it’s on to Johnson’s Boucaniere for lunch. Lent is bearing down upon us like a freight train, so I’d better get as much boudin and ribs and stuff eaten while there’s time. Seems prudent, yes? Then, who knows? We are told that NuNu’s in Arnaudville has good food. We’re taking coolers to bring back bounty for our wives and children. It’s the least we could do. I will report back later today. There will be pictures.
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