Road Trip: Fresh Cracklins at Don's Specialty Meats in Louisiana
"God I love Louisiana."
Don's Specialty Meats has been serving cracklins, po' boys, boudin and other meaty treats in South Louisiana since the early 1990s. About five years back, they opened a second location in Scott, right off of I-10. I'd never been, but my dad said their cracklins were always hot and some of the best he'd ever had. I tend to trust his judgment on these things.
If you've never had cracklins before, imagine this: big, hearty chunks of bacon deep-fried and tossed in Cajun seasoning, served piping hot. Now stop drooling on your keyboard.
They were pretty darn awesome. We munched on the crunchy, bacony goodness while admiring the deli counter and fridge case and took the rest on the road. Before we headed out, I had to survey the plethora of prepared, ready-to-cook Cajun specialty meats—stuffed, seasoned, marinated, it could very well have borne a sign that said "Cajun Meat for Dummies." Not that they're made just for the kitchen novice. They'd make a wonderful, no-brainer meal at any skill level.
There was an especially interesting selection of chicken. Boneless breasts stuffed with crab or pork, whole seasoned fryers stuffed with boudin, chicken kabobs with green pepper and onion, chicken in a blanket of bacon, even "seasoned chicken patties," which appeared to be ground chicken with onions and spices that you could form into burgers or meatballs. Who needs frozen meals and Hamburger Helper when you can take one of these babies home for a quick chicken dinner?
On the way out the door, walking between shelves of snacks and sweets, we spied a big daddy jar of pickled quail eggs sitting side-by-side with rows of chocolate and strawberry moon pies. I had to chuckle as we snapped a picture for proof. God I love Louisiana.
Don's Specialty Meats
730 I-10 S Frontage Road, Scott LA 70583 (map)
104 Hwy 1252, Carencro LA 70520 (map)
About the author: Katie Walsh is a native Austin writer passionate about food and all things cultural. She holds a degree in sociology and Spanish from UT Austin and is both a columnist and senior editor for multicultural publication TODO Austin.