Boudin is classic Louisiana road food, and for a long time if you lived around New Orleans that was by necessity. If you wanted boudin, you had to travel for it, and the destination was Acadiana, the boudin heartland.
The supply/demand dynamic has been changing as new butcher shops have started making their own boudin around New Orleans. Yes indeed, we live in wondrous times.
We’re also now in prime boudin season. This is easy food that wows people at gatherings, like those every weekend football parties, the holiday parties on the horizon and parade parties to come. But which kind to get?
Boudin inspires a special kind of brand loyalty. People hold their favorite suppliers in high esteem, with a devotion that others might reserve for their hairdresser or therapist.
But still, I’ve never met a boudin obsessive who wasn’t compelled to try the next one, and who wasn’t forever angling for intel on someone else’s prized find. Put some boudin on the table and people will invariably ask where you got it.
After all, there are some who pursue great boudin around south Louisiana the way others explore a particular wine grape from one vineyard to the next. That remains part of the fun of a Louisiana road trip, tracking down tips, and harvesting finds.
Now, though, the boudin trail runs right through New Orleans, in a way we could only have dreamed of a few years back.
We have fine restaurants making boudin now, and the stuff is an ingredients at neighborhood joints and upscale dining rooms. I’ve found good boudin at farmers markets and the boudin brands are now staples at grocery stores.
But what I really love, what I’m after here are the full service butcher shops where you can drop in for a hot link on the go or stock up on meaty Cajun goodies for home. With so much good stuff now close at hand, sharing the wealth is just part of the fun.
You can see my updated list of local boudin here.