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Festival not needed to celebrate Andouille this fall

 

LAPLACE — St. John the Baptist Parish recently announced the cancellation of the 2021 Andouille Festival due to COVID-19 concerns, but the absence of live music and festival rides won’t stop locals from celebrating the region’s unique cuisine this fall.

Holly Lions of Jacob’s World Famous Andouille & Sausage invites St. John residents to have a “smokin’ good time” while preparing Andouille dishes that go beyond the traditional gumbo and jambalaya recipes.

Last year, Jacob’s Andouille hosted an online celebration that included giveaways of Andouille, smoked sausage and pork crackling baskets. The local business also posted throwback articles that shared the time-tested secrets of some of the older Andouille makers in the area.

This year will be similar, with giveaways beginning in September and ramping up in October.

“We plan on doing that again this year because there’s no Andouille Festival, but I think another way people can celebrate is by sharing the ways you can use Andouille that are not just in gumbos or jambalaya. I’d encourage people to share recipes that use Andouille in different ways,” Lions said.

The Andouille Festival food line-up has been known to include a wide range of Andouille-based dishes, from crawfish and Andouille balls to Andouille po boys. The Jacob’s World Famous Andouille & Sausage website, cajunsausage.com, offers several unique recipes including Andouille queso, Jacob’s Andouille dip, and sweet potato and Andouille bisque.

“I think what’s interesting is that every time we see people that have moved away, they always say you can’t get it anywhere else,” Lions said. “It’s so unique to our area, and there’s something about it. We put our heart and our soul into Andouille, and it really shows when people come back and tell us that it’s the best they’ve ever had. It’s really something special.”

Last year, the River Parishes Tourist Commission launched the Andouille Trail to highlight the importance of Andouille to the region. The trail has an impressive 37 stops between St. James, St. John the Baptist and St. Charles parishes, and whoever picks up receipts from at least three locations can receive a special Andouille spoon from the River Parishes Tourist Commission.

Executive Director Jay Robichaux said the Tourist Commission has awarded approximately 65 commemorative spoons thus far as locals and visitors alike take an interest in exploring the River Region’s unique cuisine.

According to Robichaux, the Andouille Trail is just one way the River Parishes Tourist Commission has expanded its brand to showcase local traditions, experiences and cuisine.

“From higher-end locales with gorgeous views of Lake Pontchartrain or historic homes and gardens to mom-and-pop stops with plate lunches, Andouille is served smoked for the tasting as well as in inventive ways – pizza toppings, Andouille-crusted filets and, of course, chicken and Andouille gumbo,” Robichaux said.

The interactive Andouille Trail map at andouilletrail.com/producers-restaurants shows visitors how they can experience Andouille at various “links” along the trail, whether you are buying, making, eating, tasting or shipping it.