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Andouille (French) at a Glance
Vire, Lower Normandy, Western France
Type of Charcuterie
Smoked Sausage, Smoked, Brined
Pig tripe, large intestines, small intestines, salt, stock, seasoning
Andouillette, andouille de Vire, andouille de Guémené, andouillette de Troyes, andouillette au Vouray, andouille de pays, chitterling sausage
Andouille (French) Description
A specialty sausage originating from Western France, particularly Vire in Lower Normandy, andouille is a gourmet product in the area. Traditionally, this sausage is prepared laboriously from traditional produce. This rustic tripe sausage is likely to have been produced in the earlier times in order to consume all the butchered parts of a pig. Although an acquired taste for those not native to it, andouille is a sausage enjoyed by many people outside of the French region today.
This smoked sausage is coarse grained, and has a distinct appearance especially when sliced. Its dark colored casing houses folded pig stomach that look layered and spiral when it has been cut up. The tedious process of producing andouille begins with the cleaning and scrubbing of pork tripe and intestines.
Once thoroughly cleaned these are bundled up, stuffed into larger intestines and seasoned with sea salt and pepper or soaked in prepared brine for several days. The cured tripe and chitterling is then smoked for 3 weeks to 2 months in order to dry it and provide it with its authentic color and taste. The final step of andouille production is cooking the sausage in a stock for 3 to 6 hours.
The painstaking and traditional andouille making process results in a tasty highly flavored sausage. Due to the long smoking period, this sausage has a rich earthy and smoky taste that is combined with a strong pork flavor, some spiciness and sweetness. Aside from this it carries a distinct odor that is often associated with food made from innards as a result of the cooked gastric juice. Unlike most sausages which are minced or ground together, andouille has a different texture. The sliced tripe and chitterling give way to gummy and slippery meat.
Traditionally this sausage is sliced very thinly and eaten cold with bread as an appetizer. It may also be eaten warm included in salad or with some apples or caramelized onions. When fried, it is commonly served with mustard and cracked pepper. Andouille is also often used in other dishes such as stews and soups or served alongside it.
Photo Credit: Brother O'Mara