Yesterday, I gave in to my senior class’s persuasive overtures to have a “boudin party” in class. I turned it into a writing assignment, of course, which we called “boudin wars” as we analyzed the culinary and taste features of a variety of local retail specimens. Of course, I wrote along with them. The result is worth publishing somewhere, so here goes.
I may be biased as a 35 year resident of Eunice, but I believe my claim is not far from the truth: The best boudin in Acadiana, bar none, comes from this prairie burg. But an issue remains to be resolved: Of the several premium brands that are manufactured here in the Prairie Cajun Capitol, which one of THE best of THE BEST?
Allons voir! (Let’se see!). We did a scientific taste test this morning in English IV at St. Edmund Catholic High School, and the verdict is in! (Admittedly, it’s my verdict—some may disagree, but it’s OK if they just have to be wrong. I forgive them☺.)
The first brand I sampled was from Mel’s, the meat market just across Bayou des Cannes on Highway 13. I never tasted Mel’s before, so this was unique. When I bit off the first bite, my immediate impression was “This is bland!” It had a non-savory, ricey kind of blandness, at least at first. I took two or three more bites to make sure I gave it a fair shake. Admittedly, after a few moments, my taste buds began to sense a slow burn—the salty/pimentee came kind of like a savory afterthought. It was really quite pleasant, and I partially forgave the product for its negative first impression.
On to species two. I sampled T-Boy’s, a brand I tasted years ago when T-Boy’s Meat Market was in Mamou. In recent years, T-Boy opened a shop in Eunice and now rivals some of the established markets like Superette Slaughterhouse and Eunice Poultry. I wasn’t expecting much of my taste-test for T-Boy’s, because years ago when my mother-in-law bought it frequently, I wasn’t crazy about it. In those days, it was an old-school boudin with a more traditional casing—the kind you could eat. It also had a stronger liver flavor than some of the other local brands, so I wasn’t crazy about it. But guess what? T-Boy’s has changed the recipe! The sample I tasted was much closer in texture and taste to Superette or the old Johnson’s Grocery (which back in the day was the real king of boudin!). So I was slightly surprised—and pleasantly so—by T-Boy’s.
For my final test, I sampled Eunice Superette Slaughterhouse’s finest. Superette Slaughterhouse, the iconic market on the banks of Richard’s Gulley with the life-size Black Angus Bull statue presiding over the gravel parking lot. OK, I admit, I’m biased. I’ve argued with people for years that Superette is the best of the best. But I determined to be objective, and so I believe my final analysis is fair. I took several bites of the Superette boudin and thoughtfully contemplated the tasty components. Ratio of rice to pork: Perfect. Amount of heat (from red pepper): perfect, just enough to not quite make the sinuses run, but close, if that makes any sense. I did have to spit out one unpleasant glob of fat that came out with one of the bites, but that was the only negative.
In the final analysis, then, my rating is as follows:
Third place: Mel’s
Second place: T-Boy’s
First place: The winner and still champion, Superette Slaughterhouse
So bring on your best, Karchener’s Grocery in Krotz Springs, Boudin King in Crowley, the Why-Not-Stop in Vidrine, Vautrot’s Grocery in Church Point, Don’s or Best Stop in Scott: Eunice Superette Slaughterhouse will take all boudin comers and RULE!