We concluded our second day in Paris with a visit to Montmarte to enjoy the breathtaking view and dinner of either pizza or crepes (two adjacent establishments owned by the same proprietor gave us access to too many choices!). I love a good crepe and the menu promised delicious crepe fillings of mushrooms, ham, cheeses, veggies, and more. One of those “mores” included Andouille de Guémené, which several of my fellow travelers inquired after. In the states andouille is a distinctive pork sausage often associated with New Orleans cookery. Sounds like a perfect crepe filling to me, though the French speakers at my table agreed that the translation was something like “strange sausage.” The young woman taking our orders also seemed a little horrified at my choice, which suggested that something was up. Or rather down. Not to be thwarted I ordered my crepe, which arrived amidst a wonderful aroma of butter and a beautiful presentation, complete with a sunny egg in the middle.
The flavor was distinctive, though not strong or repulsive. Perhaps earthy would be the best description for the Andouille de Guémené. Back at our hotel a little online research quickly revealed that this is a Breton delicacy composed of pork chitterlings–essentially the large intestines of the pig, or “chaudins,” rolled one inside the other to create a sausage. Actually many intestines–apparently some 20 to 25 are required for one andouille! Apparently this sausage dates back to the 18th century or earlier but it wasn’t until the 20th century that the good folks of Guémené in Brittany created their distinctive version–when sliced the Andouille de Guémené reveals concentric circles representing each gut. If you’d like to know more you can visit the website of the premiere Breton andouille making dynasty and even follow them on Facebook: http://www.andouille-guemene.com/
Would I eat it again? Yes, it was quite good! Unfortunately I suspect we won’t be seeing it in the states anytime soon…. So, here’s to you, strange sausage of France!