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What is andouille?

A favorite of Rabelais and an acquired taste, andouille is a French smoked sausage made primarily from pig chitterlings, tripe, onions, wine and seasonings, and is enclosed in a blackened skin. It is frequently served in cold slices as an hors d'oeuvre. In the U.S., andouille is most often used in Cajun and Creole dishes such as jambalaya and gumbo; it tends to be spicier than the French version.

While there are many imitations, there are only two genuine types of andouille, guaranteed to be prepared with traditional methods in their region of origin. Genuine Vire andouille is made in Normandy with stomach and intestines, smoked over beech wood for two months, and cooked in water or a court-bouillon. Vire andouille made outside of Normandy often includes neck and breast meat, making it higher in fat. Andouille de pays contains heart and head flesh.

Guémené andouille from Brittany is trademarked and is made by layering intestines inside of one another -- before being dried, smoked and cooked in bouillon or steamed -- producing a concentric circle pattern when sliced.

Note: if you want to let a French person know you think he's a bumbling idiot, calling him an "andouille" is a rough equivalent of the old British "silly sausage."

Recipe: Becca's Jambalaya (Simply Recipes)
Recipe: Zucchini, Fennel And Andouille Pie (Luna Circle Farm)
Recipe: Whole Wheat Linguine With Andouille, Carrots And Tarragon
Recipe: Artichoke Hearts And Andouille
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