The Boudin Trail that runs throughout small Lake Charles, Louisiana sets the bar high just by the name. This is where you come to find authentic, southern, boudin made from recipes passed down for generations. This is also where you come to discover that the real secret of what makes boudin delicious has nothing to do with the spices and meat or even the generations-old recipes.
The secret of boudin lies in the southern soul of the families who make it.
Famous Foods is one of 27 stops along the Boudin Trail. The hunger-inducing aroma of homemade boudin, sausage and Cajun cracklins leads me to the front door of this small family-owned business. Fresh, hot batches of original flavor, alligator and pork boudin are ready at the counter.
Darby Guillory Jr., the 3rd generation owner cheerfully welcomes visitors as if it’s his first day on the job. He tells us about the daily specials and offers us a taste of the original flavor, family recipe boudin.
Darby Senior then appears from the kitchen to say hello as if houseguests have arrived. He takes a moment from tending to industrial sized ovens filled with BBQ chicken, ribs and pork to greet new customers in the way that you would welcome a new member to the family.
This tiny meat shop started as a drive-thru and snow cone business 23 years ago when Darby Senior and his wife first put up the Famous Foods placard. Now, with a fully functioning building and kitchen fit for a king, the business sells thousands of pounds of meat a week and ships orders throughout the country.
Despite the tremendous growth, one staple has never changed for Famous Foods: faith and family.
“For us it’s faith – faith in God, faith in Jesus – that things are going to work out. But, you have to work hard,” said Darby Senior.
A good work ethic runs throughout the family. The entire family of children, grandchildren, cousins, aunts and uncles run shifts at the store. Every staff member is genuinely happy even though they have likely been cooking cracklins since 4am. Work everyday at Famous Foods is like one big family reunion. That warmth and feeling of family togetherness is extended to the customers.
As Darby Senior walks me behind the employee doors to get a few photos of meats in the ovens, I am distracted. I can’t help but notice that the chalkboards lining the hallways are scrawled with bible verses and reminders of core values about family, customers and the experience that comes with enjoying great homemade food.
It is clear by the grin on Darby’s face as he flips a rack of ribs that everyday he gets to make food for people to enjoy –it’s a great day.
Famous Foods uses all original recipes to make boudin flavors from original to smoked to cornbread. Other stores have their own recipes, but most boudin includes some type of meat, rice, onions and other seasonings. Boudin, also known as the original Cajun finger food can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, dinner and as a snack.
With 27 stops along the Boudin Trail, it takes time to get to all of them. Darby suggests navigating the trail by picking and choosing locations, pacing yourself and only attempting 4-5 stops in a day. In addition to the full belly, you will realize that your boudin experience is about more than just the secret recipes.
The real secret of boudin is southern soul of the families who make it. Make sure you schedule extra time to enjoy it!
**Please subscribe to ThreeWordPress blogs by filling out the SUBSCRIPTION BOX and be sure to LIKE ThreeWordPress on Facebook and @AnietraHamper on Twitter.