Boudin the Bad…the tale of a sausage..


The accepted movie tradition, in old Hollywood Westerns, simplified the distinction between good and bad by the colour of the hats worn by the main protagonists. Villains wore cool black hats and heroes wore white. To my young mind the villains were infinitely more interesting than the anaemic upholders of the law who compounded their blandness with purgatorial bouts of singing and, on occasion, girl kissing. Today’s movie morality is more equivocal, but earlier traditions still apply in the world of sausages, particularly when applied to boudins. A blood soaked boudin noir evinces all of the perverse appeal that attracts us to the man in the black hat whilst pallid boudin blanc brings clear meaning to Augustine’s prayer for purity, but without immediate effect. Jenny’s feelings about red meat and peaceful living dictate that neither blood filled sausages nor black hatted villains are permitted to cross our threshold. I am unequivocally in agreement with the exclusion of blood thirsty villains, but Jenny is adamant that both sausage and villain should be treated equally with the result that boudin apartheid has been declared. I may have a dream, but at the moment all I have is boudin blanc and I have come to like it quite well.


 A pork sausage made with crème fraiche, egg white, egg yolks and seasoning is so far from the tradition of dark meaty sausages as to be unrecognisable as one of the same family. There is something of the quenelle in the appearance of the boudin blanc….a sort of unhealthy delicateness. I cooked my first two examples in some butter and oil, very slowly, in a frying pan, until they attained a deep caramel tan…and burst. Damaged goods as they were, they still tasted delicious eaten hot, and would have been even better with a creamy purée of potato and celeriac. They were particularly good served cold with mustard and good bread.



Today, I am without the internet which has reintroduced me to writing without the electronic aid of Google as Thesaurus and researcher. It’s been wonderful rummaging through my book shelves to find answers and names. Boudin blanc is not mentioned often and eventually I had to turn to my battered copy of Larousse to find some answers to the splitting of the skin. Pricking is certainly part of the answer, but Larousse suggests wrapping a piece of buttered grease proof paper around each boudin, and grilling them slowly. I love the idea of this performance and wonder how well it will work outside of the kitchen envisaged by the compilers of Larousse. I can almost smell the burning as I write….

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2014, Cooking, Cuisine bourgeoise, Digital photography, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, Google, Humour, Meat, Photography, photography course, Sausages, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to Boudin the Bad…the tale of a sausage..

  1. Mad Dog says:

    The Good, the Bad, the Black Pudding. I’m with Hollywood when it comes to Boudin – black wins hands down for me 🙂
    I normally fry slices of black pudding, unless I’m stuffing it into a chicken or adding it to a casserole.

  2. Excuse me, I am drooling…..! If you must write about all this great food, at least you could refrain from posting these superb photos with it. Fortunately it is lunch time and it is ok for me to go and rummage around in the kitchen!

  3. Darya says:

    I adore Boudin blanc, especially when it is nicely caramelized like yours (I love boudin noir too, but that one rarely gets on our table, as Pierre hates everything about it).

  4. Chances are I’d like noir better too, Roger, but it’s best to keep in Jenny’s good graces. There’s a saying around here: if the missus ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

  5. While I love a good blood sausage, they’re near impossible to find here. Your lighter sausage sounds great.

  6. suej says:

    Well, I’m with Mad Dog …fried black pudding, can’t beat it!

  7. Michelle says:

    I’m with Jenny. Give me that “unhealthy delicateness” any day. (Glad you got your Internet back.)

  8. Eha says:

    Childhood memories are full of boudin noir . . . but am more than happy to partake of the anaemic variety also ~ one of my real food weaknesses I am afraid! Yummy photo 🙂 !

  9. I’ve always wanted to try to make a boudin from scratch. Looks delicious!!! BTW, I usually wear a grey hat, so what would that make me the villain or the hero 🙂

  10. Jenny is always right. Always. 🙂

  11. Roger, I shall potter off this afternoon contemplating your Man in Black Versus Augustine . Your writing made me chuckle today. Wonderful post.

  12. I’m a noir gal myself too – French, English, Spanish – all good, all different! I to ohave had internet probs and have been resorting to the old fashioned way of looking things up…it’s been quite fun flicking through old books 🙂

  13. Loved this. Prose and pictures. I root for the villains 🙂

  14. Love the light in these shots. Haven’t had boudin blanc, but it makes me think of weisswurst in Germany. Hope the Internet is soon restored chez vous.

  15. Amanda says:

    Stunning photos. I’ve never had a boudin, but boy am I tempted. I’m probably more on your side of this argument, I love bloody sausages, black pudding, etc, but this is a different beast.

  16. ChgoJohn says:

    I’ve only seen blood sausage once, Roger, and it I’d read this beforehand, I probably would have bought a few links. Now the trick will be to remember where I saw them. 😉

  17. Mary Frances says:

    I love the title of this post!
    As for the question of blanc or noir, I think they should be served together, in perfect sausage harmony.

  18. Karen says:

    In our house, we would have some of each. The sausage with its caramelized color served with mustard and a good slice of bread sounds great.

  19. Jourdie Ross says:

    I’ve been eating boudin noir for healthy blood lately (speaking of anemic, hehe), but this gives me a yen for its paler cousin. I love your treatise on traditional heroics and quite agree that old time protagonists were rather a snooze.

  20. mrsgillies says:

    What would one do without the Larousse? I recently looked up “Gnocchi” as Kel was telling me how good Parisian Gnocchi is and the way the Larousse described presenting gnocchi a la parisienne…oh my.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.