Cajun food is one of America’s greatest culinary creations, and the list of Cajun dishes that have become downright legendary — jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish boil, po’boys — is definitely impressive. But there’s one Cajun dish that’s been waiting in the wings, and it’s one that could seriously change your life: boudin.
Photo Modified: Flickr/ Southern Foodways Alliance/ CC4.0
Boudin (boo-dan) is a sausage which manifests in diverse variations all over the world (including one that’s a blood sausage), but in Cajun country, boudin is a loosely-packed cooked sausage (as in, all the ingredients are cooked before being ground and stuffed) that’s made with rice and ground pork (or any other type of meat hanging around) and flavored with garlic, the "holy trinity" (onion, celery, and bell pepper), and Cajun seasoning, which usually contains pepper, cayenne, paprika, oregano, and celery seed. Some recipes include liver and other offal, some swap out the pork for crawfish or shrimp, some are poached, some are smoked — everyone’s recipe is different. Some even ball it up, bread it, and deep-fry it to turn it into another regional specialty.
Boudin is similar to dirty rice, but it’s all wrapped up neatly in sausage casing. To eat it, some empty out the casing and spoon it onto a cracker with a dab of mustard; some just eat it like any other sausage. Thanks to the addition of rice, it’s a meal unto itself, and it’s unlike any other sausage out there. When all these ingredients are packed into the casing, some sort of alchemy happens that results in one of the most delicious, rustic, hearty dishes on the planet.
If you want to try it for yourself, you can order it online, or better yet, venture out into the Louisiana back-country and track some down for yourself.