Boudin: Ball Versus Link Let the Battle Begin
Boudin. Nearly everyone has their favorite specialty meat market, convenience store or homemade recipe that is the worlds best. There is almost no family function, holiday or plain old day that goes by without most of us not getting a bite or two.
What is boudin? It's a mix of pork, liver, rice, onions and parsley, salt, pepper and other seasonings. These are the basics which are stuffed into a sausage casing and served hot or cold. Now you know the basic ingredients, you must understand that the specific amounts of each ingredient plus other secrets each cook may have vary from kitchen to kitchen and that in part is what makes boudin a staple on the food pyramid in the southern regions of Louisiana.
You can buy our favorite finger food by the pound and it's perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, driving down the road, going to the movies, getting a haircut, bathing the dog and so on.
On Saturday (26 October) in Sulphur the Brimstone Museum's Annex at 900 South Huntington Street will host Boudin Wars, a family-friendly event from 11 am until 1 pm. Local restaurants, stores, meat markets and individuals will throw their links in the ring to compete for the title of 'Best Boudin in Southwest Louisiana'. Let me warn you in advance, this is a friendly but fierce competition. Admission is ten dollars and allows you tasting rights from the various entrants. Don't eat breakfast and come prepared to taste away.
Link Versus Ball
While most of us will eat boudin in any form, there is an underlying current of an argument that further explores the best consumption options for the sowbelly delight. Having driven thousands of miles along the back-roads and bayous of the state back in my oilfield days I developed a preference for ball boudin as it's easier to eat while driving. It's easy to pop one into your mouth and quickly get both hands back on the wheel.
Eating link boudin while driving can cause a mess when the delicious ooze begins to come out of the other end of the casing. Then you either have to quickly take another bite off the oozing end, maybe even before you've swallowed the first bite or clean up boudin guts off the console.
Another benefit to balled boudin is it's easily concealed. Imagine you're walking through the kitchen while someone is preparing boudin. With a ball, you can snatch one or two off the pan and without missing a step continue on your way, the cook none the wiser. A link is harder to palm and increases your risk of being caught red-handed by the cook and risks leaving evidence behind of your crime.
It's a deep and revered culinary custom in these parts, if you're new to SW Louisiana here's a great chance to get acquainted, if you're a native here's a great chance to stuff yourself and freshen up your DNA. For more information get in touch with Thom Trahan at 337-936-9908. For more information about the Brimstone Museum or to get tickets in advance click here.