What is Boudin Sausage?
Boudin is a Cajun sausage that is made from pork, pork organ meat, cooked rice, and vegetables such as onions and peppers and stuffed in pork casings.
There are basically two types: boudin blanc, or white boudin, and boudin rouge, or red boudin.
Boudin sausage originated in France, and there are still boudin sausages there such as boudin auvergne, boudin de Nancy, boudin du Poitou, and boudin de Lyar.
Boudin blanc is definitely well-loved in Louisiana and often made into a favorite dish called boudin balls. It is known as sort of Cajun fast food, easily found even at convenience stores.
Boudin rouge or simply blood boudin, is the traditional favorite, though, but harder to find unless you know someone who makes their own. If you ask many Louisiana natives, you might be told it is illegal to make and sell commercially.
The basic difference between boudin blanc and boudin rouge is that boudin rouge contains fresh pig’s blood. It is sometimes, as well, made with beef blood. This is why it is often called blood boudin.
Many people say that it is illegal, owing to regulations set forth by the USDA that make using blood illegal.
Blood Boudin is Legally Available
This is not true, exactly. Boudin rouge is not made as often as boudin blanc, but it is made and available legally. There are some regulations that govern the use of fresh blood in this way, and this does make it a little tougher to make, which explains why more slaughterhouses, butchers, or other sausage makers do not make it. Pork blood to be used in food, including sausage, must come from specially USDA inspected pigs and those who sell the blood must be licensed to do so.
However, the state of Louisiana, according to Bourgeous Meat Market in Louisiana, did outlaw the making of blood sausage a few years back. Bourgeous was able to work out things with officials in a nearby slaughterhouse, so that an approved method could be created. Today, they, and a few others, are the only ones to make boudin rouge for sale to the public. If you want to try some but can’t travel all the way to Cajun country to get it, Bourgeous will ship it to you! They also make boudin blanc, of course, andouille, and a Cajun beef jerky that is their number one bestseller. They are located on Main Street in Thibodaux, Louisiana but you can visit their website, linked above, to get their number and order up some of their specialties.
A quick web search revealed a few other places in Louisiana that make legal boudin rouge, at least according to some Louisianan’s posting their finds on the net. Babineaux Slaughter House on Par Road in Breaux Bridge, and Plaisance Meat Market on Plaisance Street in Lorose – Lockport.
There are, of course, other variations of boudin in Louisiana. It has been made, for instance, from crawfish, shrimp, and alligator. In France, the blood version is usually called boudin noir or black pudding, similar to other traditional blood sausages called black pudding. Blood boudin or boudin noir done in a French way, which may be quite similar to Cajun boudin, or done in other ways is putting paid to the notion that blood sausage is illegal.