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Celebrate Thanksgiving, Louisiana-Style

Celebrate Thanksgiving, Louisiana-Style
Checking the Smokehouse. Photo courtesy of Lafayette Travel

While many of us celebrate fall at festivals with pumpkin patches, hayrides and petting zoos, down in Louisiana they celebrate a bit differently. Rooted deeply within the Cajun and Creole cultures, Boucheries are a fall culinary tradition.

Photo courtesy of Lafayette Travel
Live music plays throughout the day.

At a Boucherie, a hog is butchered, beers are drawn and zydeco music lingers in the air as butchers and chefs do the work traditionally done by neighbors and family. As the pig is broken down, the different cuts are taken to separate cooking stations, each set up to prepare a certain recipe. They work to ensure that each part of the hog is used, so the results typically include headcheese, backbone stew, frasseurs (organ soup), andouille sausage, BBQ ribs and loin, boudin, and cracklins.

Photo courtesy of Lafayette Travel
Cooking stations prepare different parts of the hog.

The festivals, held in cooler months between October and the New Year, harken back to a time when the Boucheries were held out of necessity to preserve the meat for the leaner winter months. Today, they are a way to teach younger generations about their heritage and, of course, to celebrate. Participants meander around the cooking stations throughout the day to sample bits and pieces of the pork delicacies but the event is rounded out with a family-style dinner where everyone is able to sit down together to enjoy the chef’s creations.

Tired of turkey? Check out the Boucherie Merci (Thanksgiving le Boucherie), a Thanksgiving centric Boucherie held in late November in Acadiana, Louisiana. This Boucherie focuses on producing dishes to complement a Thanksgiving feast ranging from pork roast to boudin stuffing and even a bacon-laced apple pie for dessert.

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