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Casing the Boudin Trail

Submitted by on May 15, 2010 – 3:51 pmOne Comment

kaufmann_boudinby Glenn Kaufmann
Guest Blogger
Story and Photographs

Whether you are a serious sausage lover, a gourmet road warrior, or merely curious about Cajun/Creole cooking, few places satisfy both the palette and the urge to get away someplace new. Southwest Louisiana’s Boudin Trail is one of them.

Boudin is a traditional Cajun/Creole sausage made throughout Louisiana from rice, spices, and almost any meat or seafood that’s available (chicken, pork, shrimp, gator). The rice was originally used as an inexpensive filler when times were tough. These days, even when times are good, most folks leave it in the mix because, well, it’s just the way you make boudin.

The roots of this tasty link are buried deep in the bayou. Boudin’s heritage dates back to the Gulf Coast’s German settlers and early Cajun/Creole culture. Today the varieties of boudin (alligator boudin, boudin blanc, smoked boudin, shrimp boudin, etc.) reflect not just the preferences of the cook, but offer a glimpse at both the history and the modern day culture of individual communities, where the shrimping industry may hold sway, or everyone may have their own backyard smokehouse.

kaufmann_boudin2The Boudin Trail is a loose confederation of 17 restaurants, groceries, and commercial outposts that all make and/or sell regionally produced boudin. The stops along the trail are all within easy driving distance of Lake Charles, Louisiana. In fact the entire trail can be driven, tasted, and experienced in just one day. But a whirlwind trip to Lake Charles hardly does justice to this culturally rich and culinarily diverse corner of the Gulf Coast.

In addition to its place along the Boudin Trail, Lake Charles is the focal point of Southwest Louisiana culture and tourism, and the site of Louisiana’s second largest Mardi Gras celebration (by number of parading organizations). While visiting Lake Charles, visitors should take the time to visit the Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu, which boasts the largest collection of Mardi Gras costumes and royal court regalia in the United States.

Whether they are in town for Mardi Gras or just passing through, visitors to Lake Charles Louisiana should make the time to taste their way down the Boudin Trail, and get to know this unique corner of Louisiana’s bayou country.

Kaufmann is the editor & publisher of All About Mardi Gras, a website dedicated to offering year-round cultural and travel information for eight great U.S. cities, each with a rich Mardi Gras tradition.

One response to “Casing the Boudin Trail”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Road Trips 4 Foodies. Road Trips 4 Foodies said: Explore the many varieties of traditional Cajun/Creole sausage along Louisiana's Boudin Trail. See:, #RoadTrips Foodies! […]

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