By Theresa Russell
An integral part of life in Louisiana, good food makes the perfect excuse for heading out on the road to enjoy an itinerary specifically dedicated to food. The Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail serves that purpose. Not only are there over 25 stops that serve boudin, but there are also other stops along the way for you to enjoy in between evaluating who makes the best boudin. I know that I have my favorite, but it was tough considering that every sample that I tried tasted delicious. In the end it comes down to personal preference.
What particularly impressed me about the boudin makers, many of whom follow long family traditions of boudin production and continue to use those age-old recipes, was the passion that these people put into their craft. And that passion, I suspect, manifests itself as a particular indefinable taste that only a creator can imbue into the finished product. After all, how different can a combination of pork, onions, rice and herbs be? Very different, of course.
Many makers of this staple Louisiana snack experiment with variations on a theme, using different types of wood in their ubiquitous smoke houses or changing up the mix of ingredients and maybe even adding cheese to their boudin balls, like they do at B&O Kitchen and Grocery in Sulphur. In addition to smoked boudin, other varieties include blanc, crawfish, shrimp, alligator, hot and mild. Well, anybody from Southwest Louisiana already knows that!
It seems a universal law that where there is boudin, there will be cracklins available. So while traveling the boudin trail, take the opportunity to compare the tasty cracklins.
Need to digest all those boudin balls and cracklins? Take advantage of the other attractions offered along the Boudin Trail. Passing through Lake Charles, Sulphur, DeQuincy, Iowa, Vinton, Westlake and Cameron Parish, the Trail passes near the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road and other parks. Culturally, museums like the Children’s Museum in Lake Charles or the Brimstone Museum in Sulphur offer respite until the next stop on the trail.
A newer rum distillery, just off I-10 near Iowa produces spirits from Louisiana sugar cane. Louisiana Spirits conducts regular tours of their facilities and offers samples of their products as well.
Whether you want to head out for the day or spend a few days indulging in the treats of the Boudin Trail, you will find a multitude of activities. You may prefer something serene like traveling the Creole Nature Trail or exploring the Charpentier Historic District of Lake Charles, or you can always spend the day on the links. See you on the Boudin Trail.
About Theresa Russell
Claiming her lust for travel began on her first journey through the birth canal, Theresa is genetically programmed to travel and to have fun doing it. She especially enjoys adventure and experiential travel and always finds something at a destination to write home about.