As I exhale, smoke magically comes out of my mouth. Okay, it’s not magic people, but science. It is now officially cold. I have a harder time crawling out from being sandwiched between the warmth of fleece covers and fleece sheets. I pile up on clothing before heading out, even if it is just to get the mail or letting out the dog to wee. I cannot help but fall asleep on the couch on lazy afternoons, snuggled under my blankie with the dog beside me.
Plus,it is the perfect weather to head down to Louisiana and just eat. Nice cool temperatures that will not give you that sticky, sweaty, tiring feeling.
If I had the chance to magically transport myself to Louisiana now, I’d head to Scott with spacious cooler filled with dry ice in tow to tour the three great boudin, crackling and specialty meat shops. Amusing how these three are within a 1-mile radius of each other. I guess you can never get enough variety of boudin and other tasty meat treats.
So first of all, what is boudin? It is a pork sausage made with meat, liver, rice and spices. It is tasty in itself, but somehow these guys decided to form the boudin filling into a ball, roll it in breadcrumbs and deep fry it. Drat. Boudin balls are just genius! I didn’t say healthy if you’ve noticed, just sheer brilliant, addictive pork and rice goodness. The deep fried, crispy and sometimes crunchy breadcrumb coating adds a contrast of texture versus the creamy insides of the boudin.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, where to go for your boudin fix? Let’s start…
Don’s Specialty Meats
This was the place that opened my taste buds to the wonders of boudin that the boudin I tasted from the supermarket is crap and not worth my money even if it was on sale. This is the place that told me that Louisiana boudin is worth the trip.
And it is.
What makes their boudin balls great is the ratio of the meat versus the rice. You can definitely taste that there is more pork than rice. You do not feel shortchanged. In Don’s Specialty Meats boudin balls, the rice grains stay intact and whole. And because of this combination, you do get to enjoy the experience of chewing through the boudin – the robust pork strands then the breakdown of the rice grains melting on your tongue.
You can purchase boxes of boudin and boudin balls from this store. And in case you run out, you can always order online.
And unfortunately, Don’s Specialty Meats do not have cheese boudin variant.
730 I-10 South Frontage Rd
Scott, LA 70583
+1 (337) 234-2528
Open Monday to Thursday 6AM-7PM
Friday to Sunday 6AM-8PM
Billy’s Boudin & Cracklin
Billy’s Boudin & Cracklin’ is supposedly the new comer and the one who apparently introduced the boudin ball with cheese. The richness of the deep fried pork and rice balls wasn’t enough. They just had to add cheese.
Their boudin balls’ coating is unlike Don’s, which is very thin and delicate. Their’s has a thicker breading similar to that of fast food chain fried chicken, salty, substantial and craggly. While I do enjoy the breading on fried chicken, I think I’d like for that breading style to stay with fried chicken and out of my boudin balls. More filling versus breading for me.
The pork and rice in the filling remains intact, while the pepper jack cheese cube is found at the center. The pepper jack cheese adds another layer of heat to the spice seasoning the pork and rice had.
My initial complaint was I could not taste the cheese in every bite. I had to take a big bite to get to the center and was disappointed with the cube of unmelted cheese I had to chew through. At least I was. But later on, I found out a better way to eat Billy’s boudin balls with cheese. Which is? Well, first, you have to have them right out of the fryer, when the heat has melted the cheese cube inside. Get the ball onto the plate then split in the middle. The cut should expose the hot melted cheese, which you should spread evenly across the split boudin ball. This ensures that you get the extra later of richness of cheese atop the pork & rice filling.
You can buy a pack of their cooked boudin balls to take home. But since they do not have a website, take as much packets as you can fill your cooler with.
523 Apollo Rd
Scott, LA 70583
+1 (337) 232-1114
Open Monday to Friday 630AM-7PM
Saturday & Sunday 7AM-7PM
I saved the best for last. Don’s may have been my first boudin love, but Best Stop now occupies that space in my heart. Best Stop’s boudin balls are my true love…for now. They have the best boudin balls of all the three boudin greats of Scott, LA.
First, they offer both the original boudin ball and cheese boudin ball varieties. Second, their breading was thin, delicate and crispy. Lastly and not the least, though I usually appreciate the contrast in textures, I loved that their filling was homogenous – porcine creaminess that finishes with a kick of spice and a kiss of heat.
The tragedy was I didn’t grab a packet of their frozen packets of when I had the chance. But thanks to modern technology, the saving grace is that I can always order them online, should there not be another Louisiana trip in sight.
Scott, LA 70583
+1 (337) 233-5805
Open Monday to Saturday 6AM-8PM
So when you find yourself in Louisiana, do not forget to make a beeline for the town of Scott! Doc Brown from “Back To The Future” had it right when he coined the line “Great Scott!” because it is. It really is.
Not only can you get boudin and boudin balls, don’t forget the other magical meaty products like cracklins’ (crispy pork seasoned with Cajun spices), game meat like rabbit, deer, alligator, and frog, and regular meat cuts – beef, chicken, pork (of course). On top of that, there’s also your Cajun cooking utensils, cookware, spices and other knick knacks.