About an hour from New Orleans on USA 90 West, I stopped at Bourgeois Meat Market in Thibodaux. If nothing else, this trip was a quest to try their Cajun Boudin sausage.
On the front of an unassuming low brick building, an old sign reads “Miracles in Meats since 1891” That, my friends, is the holy truth.
Bourgeois is an old neighborhood Cajun meat market. No chairs or tables. They offer a few hot items: White boudin, blood boudin, and a boudin burrito. All the locals who came in ordered larger cuts of cold or cured meats, smoked sausage, and turkey or hog head cheese.
Out back, a few guys were splitting wood to stoke an old blackened, van-sized smoker.
The head butcher, Terrell Barrow, tells me to step back when he opens the door, unleashing a cloud of wood smoke infused with a mesmerizing, delicious roast pork smell from the sausages hanging inside. I wondered for a moment if it was possible to die from too much umami.
Boudin has a French lineage made with eggs and cream: the Cajun version kicks it up a notch, adding rice, vegetables, spices, and organ meats.
It is soft and either eaten whole or by pinching it out of the natural casing like a hot pork squeeze pop.
When I asked him, “What is the secret of your boudin? Terrell laughs and says, ” Good meat, less rice, and our secret blend, which I have sworn under punishment of death not to tell you.”
Boudin hits every flavor trigger. Rich, savory, a hint of salty/sweet, a little spicy, herbaceous, complex, coat your mouth comfort food. Deep sausage. Truly amazing.