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From the Road: Boudin at The Best Stop Supermarket in Louisiana
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It finally reached that point in every Texas-to-Mississippi road trip where we had to get our boudin on. My dad and I went to one of our longtime favorites, down the road from Don's Specialty Meats in Scott, and literally called "The Best Stop." Aptly named, I assure you.
Boudin is, all told, somewhat of an ambiguous term.
Although it was born in France, there are several kinds of boudin: Belgian, German, French Canadian and of course Cajun. Ingredients vary from one country to another—some use milk, some bread crumbs; some boudin is made with blood, some without.
But generally, when you see boudin in Louisiana, it'll be a Cajun version of what the French would call boudin blanc. It's typically made of rice, spices and pork (although crawfish boudin is a popular spin we'll dive into later), and although it's served in a sausage casing and looks like sausage, you'll only make the mistake of eating it like sausage once. The casing is much thicker and chewier than the kind used on andouille and other sliceable links. Trying to choke it down can be a bit like gnawing on a balloon.
So how to eat it? Bust it open (don't be shy!), squeeze the filling onto a saltine (or eat it straight) and splash it with a little hot sauce if you like it spicy. Ice cold beer makes an exceptional accompaniment.
The Best Stop serves a few different types of boudin, including a smoked variety which actually makes the skin crispy and edible. We stuck with the classic steamed pork, chock full of green onions, and grabbed a few boudin balls for good measure. Lightly floured and fried, boudin balls are all filling, no casing, and you can't pop just one. Go ahead and try.
Both the links and the boudin balls were wonderfully flavorful. I even skipped the hot sauce! If we weren't saving room for the next stop in Breaux Bridge, I might've picked up one of the Ziplock bags of homemade beef jerky by the register, or maybe a sweet potato sweet dough pie.
The Best Stop
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.