Linked in: the Boudin Cookoff

by Mary Tutwiler

Are you ready? The third annual Boudin Cookoff takes place this Saturday at Parc Sans Souci. Twenty-one teams will be competing in three categories for best boudin in Acadiana, or, since some of the teams are from out of state, let's just go whole hog and say best boudin in the world.

The three categories include Traditional, Specialty and Unlinked. Specialty includes anything outside of traditional pork boudin, think crawfish, shrimp, game. Actually one time I had a white bean and venison link. It was pretty good, but the question then becomes, is it really boudin? Unlinked means out of the casing. We're used to boudin balls, but think stuffed mushrooms, boudin burgers, boudin dogs. Sky's the limit.

Winners will be announced in each category, as well as People's Choice. So come sample and vote for your favorite link.

Here are the competing teams:
1. Bayou Boudin, Breaux Bridge
2. Bergeron's Boudin and Cajun Meats, Port Allen
3. Best Stop Supermarket, Scott
4. Billeaud's, Broussard
5. The Boudin Man, Mandeville
6. Chop's Specialty Meats, Broussard
7. Don's Specialty Meats, Scott
8. Early's Food Store, Scott
9. Janise's Supermarket, Sunset
10. Johnson's Boucaniere, Lafayette
11. Juneau's, Marksville
12. Mike's Country Corner, Duson
13. Napoleon Ave Meat Market, Sunset
14. NuNu's Fresh Market, Youngsville/Milton
15. Poche's, Breaux Bridge
16. The Redneck Riviera Beach Bums - Pensacola, Fl.
17. The Sausage Link, Sulphur
18. Shawn's Cajun Meats Too, Delcambre
19. Sonnier's Sausage and Boudin, Lake Charles
20. T-Boy's Boudin and Cracklins, Ville Platte
21. Tiny Prudhomme's House of Meat, Broussard

Live music will be provided by The Specklers and Thomas "Big Hat" Fields. Participate (at your own risk) in the boudin eating contest, the boudin toss and other games. There will be cooking demos and free ice cream sandwiches from Borden's.

The cook-off takes place on Saturday, Oct. 16 with boudin sampling starting at 10 a.m.; boudin sample tickets may be purchased for 50 cents. The event is presented by the geniuses behind Proceeds benefit the Preservation Alliance of Lafayette. For more information, go to the boudin cookoff website.