Red boudin (aka boudin rouge or boudin noir or blood sausage) is alive and well, thank you very much. Deep maroon, slightly grainy, rich, it definitely tastes like blood–in a good way—like the marrow from osso bucco or a ham bone, or thick pan drippings, or rare meat. It combines the warm, livery undertones of white boudin with an elemental tang and almost puddingy texture. Pictured is the snack for my LOUS 303: Food & Culture in Louisiana class tonight at Tulane.
According to popular lore, “you can’t make it anymore,” “it’s illegal to sell, but you can give it away,” “the government banned pork blood–you have to use chicken blood now.”
Time to set the record straight: none of the above is true. Artisanal butchers across Acadiana still make red boudin, in full compliance with USDA regulations, which require that the pork blood used in the sausage come from inspected hogs. Licensed abbatoirs can indeed sell pork blood from freshly killed, inspected hogs. At least two producers in Lafourche parish still make red boudin on a weekly basis: Bourgeois meat market in Thibodaux, makers of the red boudin in the photo, and Plaisance meat market between Larose and Valentine. Plaisance also does custom slaughtering, so if your backyard cows or pigs are ready for the dinner table, now you know who to call!