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Andouille (Louisiana)

Cajun andouille

Andouille (Louisiana) at a Glance

Origination

France

Type of Charcuterie

Dry Cured Sausage, Smoked

Main Ingredient

Pork

Typical Ingredients

Pork butt, pork fat, garlic, black pepper, red pepper, salt

Other Names

Cajun andouille, hot link sausage, chicken andouille, Cajun sausage

Andouille (Louisiana) Description

The Cajun andouille sausage that most Americans are familiar with comes from the French andouille, but is quite different. During earlier times, descendants of 17th Century French colonists known as Acadians were displaced from Nova Scotia to Louisiana, then a French territory. They brought along with them many traditional French cuisines which were cooked using the islands' spices and techniques. This brought way to the familiar mélange Cajun cuisine, including the andouille sausage.

Like its French predecessor, Louisiana andouille is a heavily smoked and spiced sausage. However, it is made with lean pork rather than tripe. The coarsely cubed lean pork is mixed with pork fat, chili peppers and other seasonings than encased in beef intestines and left to cure overnight. The links are then smoked with pecan wood or sugar cane from 4 to 14 hours resulting in the dark colored skin of the sausage.

Other than the dark color of the andouille, the prolonged smoking period also gives way to its intense flavor. Aside from being smoky, this heavily seasoned sausage also has a hot and spicy taste as well as a distinct Cajun smell. The appearance of the sausage can be described as a coarse-grained, solid and with a dry texture.

In Louisiana, andouille is enjoyed in many different ways. Of course, it can be served plain grilled, baked or fried but is most commonly used for jambalaya and gumbo. Its intense flavor makes it a good addition to soups and stews. In addition to this it mixes well with beans, seafood, rice, pasta, vegetables and can even be used as pizza topping or eaten cold as an appetizer.

Photo Credit: artizone