Boudin (French pronunciation: [budɛ̃]) are various kinds of sausage in French, Luxembourgish, Belgian, Swiss, Québécois, Acadian, Aostan, Louisiana Creole, and Cajun cuisine.

Boudin noir, before cooking.


The Anglo-Norman word boudin meant 'sausage', 'blood sausage' or 'entrails' in general. Its origin is unclear. It has been traced both to Romance and to Germanic roots, but there is not good evidence for either (cf. boudin.[1] The English word "pudding" probably comes from boudin.[2]


  • Boudin ball: A Cajun variation on boudin blanc. Instead of the filling being stuffed into pork casings, it is rolled into a ball, battered, and deep-fried.[3]
  • Boudin blanc: Originally, a white sausage made of pork without the blood. Variants include:
    • French/Belgian boudin blanc, with milk. Generally sautéed or grilled.
    • Cajun boudin blanc, made from a pork and rice mixture (much like dirty rice) in pork casings. Often includes pork liver and heart. Generally simmered or braised, although it may also be grilled.
    • Boudin blanc de Rethel (pronounced [bu.dɛ̃ blɑ̃ də ʁə.tɛl]): a traditional French boudin, which may only contain pork meat, fresh whole eggs and milk, and cannot contain any breadcrumbs or flours/starches. It is protected under EU law with a Protected geographical indication status.[4][5]
  • Boudin noir: A dark-hued blood sausage, containing pork, pig blood, and other ingredients. Variants of the boudin noir occur in French, Belgian, Cajun and Catalan cuisine. The Catalan version of the boudin noir is called botifarra negra. In the French Caribbean, it is known as boudin Créole. In Britain a similar sausage is called "black pudding", the word "pudding" being an anglicized pronunciation of boudin, and probably introduced after the Norman Conquest.
    • Boudin rouge: In Louisiana cuisine, a sausage similar to boudin blanc, but with pork blood added to it. This originated from the French boudin noir.
  • Boudin vert: A green sausage made of pork meat and cabbage and kale. Popular in the Belgian province of Walloon Brabant.
  • Boudin valdôtain: with beetroot, spices, wine and beef or pork blood,[6] in the French-speaking Aosta Valley of Italy.
  • Brown-rice boudin: Brown-rice boudin is a less common variation made from brown rice with taste similar to traditional pork boudin.[7]
  • Crawfish boudin: Popular in Cajun cuisine, crawfish boudin is made with the meat of crawfish tails added to rice. It is often served with cracklins (fried pig skins) and saltine crackers, hot sauce, and ice-cold beer.
  • Gator boudin: Made from alligator, gator boudin can be found sporadically in Louisiana and the Mississippi gulf coast.
  • Shrimp boudin: Similar to crawfish boudin, shrimp boudin is made by adding the shrimp to rice.[7]

In the United States

The term boudin in the Acadiana region of Louisiana is commonly understood to refer only to boudin blanc and not to other variants. Boudin blanc is the staple boudin of this region and is the one most widely consumed, and is just referred to as boudin. Also popular is seafood boudin consisting of crawfish or crab, shrimp, and rice. Most of Louisiana's Cajuns do not consider boudin a sausage.

Cajun boudin is available most readily in southern Louisiana, particularly in the Scott (considered to be the Boudin Capital of the World), New Iberia, and Lafayette areas, though it may be found nearly anywhere in "Cajun Country". Boudin can even be found in areas outside of this, including eastern Texas. There are numerous meat markets and Cajun stores devoted to the speciality, though boudin is also sold from many convenience and grocery stores in other towns and areas along Interstate 10 (i.e., Lake Charles area). Since boudin freezes well, it can be shipped anywhere outside the region. Boudin is one of the stars of Cajun cuisine (e.g., jambalaya, gumbo, étouffée, and dirty rice) and has fanatic devotees that travel across Louisiana comparing the numerous handmade varieties. From the Lake Charles to New Orleans areas, boudin's taste and flavors can vary. Some Such as Foreman's Boudin Kitchen use no liver, and other such as Richard's Cajun Kitchen use liver.

Boudin Noir is available in Illinois in the Iroquois County towns of Papineau and Beaverville. The dish is the featured cuisine at the annual Beaverville Founder's Day, held the second weekend of September. People travel from hundreds of miles to partake of the boudin.[8]

"Le Boudin"

Boudin gave rise to "Le Boudin", the official march of the French Foreign Legion. "Blood sausage" is a colloquial reference to the gear (rolled up in a red blanket) that used to top the backpacks of Legionnaires. The song makes repeated reference to the fact that the Belgians do not get any "blood sausage", since the king of the Belgians at one time forbade his subjects from joining the Legion (the verse says "ce sont des tireurs au cul").

See also


  1. Trésor de la langue française, s.v. "boudin"
  2. Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd edition, 2007, s.v. "pudding"
  3. Michael Stern (May 7, 2009). 500 Things to Eat Before It's Too Late: And the Very Best Places to Eat Them. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0-547-05907-5. Retrieved November 24, 2009.
  4. "Boudin Blanc". (in French). Retrieved January 8, 2008.
  5. "Boudin Blanc Rethel". Je découvre la (in French). Archived from the original on January 4, 2008. Retrieved January 8, 2008.
  7. "Boudin". Archived from the original on August 24, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
  8. Sier, Renee. "Taste for boudin sausage is in blood". Daiily Journal. Retrieved 14 December 2021.
  • Media related to Boudin at Wikimedia Commons
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