A story I often tell is how I met my husband on the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail. I was meeting the local American Press food editor for lunch to discuss the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail and how people can get off of the beaten path to experience a taste of something authentic. After the boudin brainstorming lunch, the food editor’s wife called to set me up on a date with Matt Hartman. The rest is history!
Boudin is a sausage traditionally made with pork, rice, parsley, onions and seasoning stuffed into a hog casing. It’s a culinary gift from the French Canadians who settled in Louisiana after being expelled from Nova Scotia. We eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and anytime in between.
Matt and I have a special fondness for boudin, although we sometimes have differences of opinions on our favorite spots around town. He’s on the road a lot for work, where he stops by little gas stations like Homsi’s Deli on Broad Street in Lake Charles for a boudin snack. And when it’s his turn to cook dinner, we get boudin and smoked sausage with green onions from Market Basket, a local grocery store in Sulphur.
We also love the smoked boudin and ready-made pinto beans with sausage from B&O Kitchen and Grocery, a family-owned business in Sulphur that has been passed down through three generations. All I have to do is thaw out the beans and cook some rice for dinner.
If you want to see your boudin being made, stop by LeBleu’s Landing Fine Cajun Cuisine and Gifts in Sulphur early in the morning. The restaurant features a window for visitors to see how chefs stuff the boudin and make the sausage. Also, there’s a great gift shop with Louisiana products. They have a wonderful green hot sauce; but the ingredients are a secret, and the label doesn’t specify the pepper.
Famous Foods in Lake Charles is my favorite for fresh, hot cracklins. In addition to good cracklins, they have also won a People’s Choice Award in the local Boudin Wars competition.
This year’s Boudin Wars competition will take place at the Henning Cultural Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13. Local restaurants and chefs will compete for the title of Best Boudin in Southwest Louisiana. A $10 ticket allows the holder to sample entries and cast a vote for his or her favorite boudin.
The Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail has so many options to explore. Visit a few sites along the trail and you just might find your true love.
Find all of the stops along the Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail at VisitLakeCharles.org/BoudinTrail.