There is no greater pleasure on earth than traveling across Acadiana on a quest for boudin and cracklins. We’ve been hearing about T-Jim’s in Cottonport for years but it was only yesterday that found us darkening the door of Jim Moreau’s little French grocery that opened in 1964 in Avoyelles Parish.

T-Jim's In Cottonport Louisiana

T-Jim’s In Cottonport Louisiana

We’re on the trail of boudin rouge, the notorious “blood boudin” of Acadiana, a food stuff that is nearly impossible to lay your hands on as modern health laws have been codified so that only a handful of makers are grandfathered in and allowed to still practice this dying art.

T Jim's In Cottonport Louisiana

T Jim’s In Cottonport Louisiana

Cottonport, Louisiana is forlorn. A steady rain is heaving down and the town has clearly seen better days. We park on a gravel strip of earth next to a wooden hut selling fireworks and make our way across a blacktop road to T-Jim’s.

Old Fashioned Meat Market In Cottonport Louisiana

Old Fashioned Meat Market In Cottonport Louisiana

The earthy funk of hog liver perfumes the air of the tiny grocery store cum meat market. We make our way to the boudin counter in the back and are immediately hailed by T-Jim himself. Time to get down to business.

T Jim aka James Moreau In Cottonport, Louisiana

T Jim aka James Moreau In Cottonport, Louisiana

Over the next 30 minutes Jim Moreau explains what his life has been like since 1964 when, as a 26 year old, he opened T-Jim’s.

Vintage Equipment at T Jim's In Cottonport

Vintage Equipment at T Jim’s In Cottonport

Long story short: It’s been a lot of hard work. Such is the life of a boudinier.

Behind The Counter At T-Jim's

Behind The Counter At T-Jim’s

1997 was a hallmark year for the operation.

T Jims In Cottonport Louisiana

T Jims In Cottonport Louisiana

T-Jim’s burned down in the middle of lunch rush.

Boudin Cooker At T Jim's In Cottonport

Boudin Cooker At T Jim’s In Cottonport

Patrons and workers took to their heels as flames erupted.

The Boudin King

The Boudin King

“Grease fire?” I inquire.

The Best Boudin In Avoyelles Parish

The Best Boudin In Avoyelles Parish

“Nah, electrical, and the worse part was the fire department wouldn’t let me finish the job”

T Jim's At The Corner Of Carmen And Main In Cottonport

T Jim’s

Moreau goes on to explain that he petitioned the fire department to allow him to burn the charred hulk of the building so he could get a fresh start on constructing his new grocery.

T Jims

T Jims

After having his offer declined, the old sausage maker rolled up his sleeves, traded in his meat grinder for a saw and hammer, and four months later was back in the game.

Fresh Boudin Mix At T Jim's In Cottonport

Fresh Boudin Mix At T Jim’s In Cottonport

We ask if we can come behind the counter and watch one of his sausage makers plying his craft. Moments later we’re at ground zero for a big batch of boudin rouge.

A Gallon Of Pig's Blood

A Gallon Of Pig’s Blood

Hog’s blood is so deep and rich in color it’s almost purple. The sausage man slowly pours the blood over a giant tub of boudin blanc then rapidly begins mixing the entirety of the affair into a melange.

The Art Of Boudin Rouge Is Still Being Practiced In Acadiana

The Art Of Boudin Rouge Is Still Being Practiced In Acadiana

It’s transfixing. This marriage of blood, liver and rice.

Hog's Blood Being Poured Over Boudin Blanc

Hog’s Blood Being Poured Over Boudin Blanc

The holy trinity of Cajun meat markets is boudin, pork sausage and cracklins. T-Jims has all those staples but you can also find stuffed gogs, catfish stuffed with crawfish and shrimp, hogs head cheese and all manners of pork chops, pork shoulders, neckbones and what have you.

For Committed Carnivores Only: Boudin Rouge

For Committed Carnivores Only: Boudin Rouge

This is a full service meat market.

Boudin Rouge At T Jims In Acadiana

Boudin Rouge At T Jims In Acadiana

We’re happy to report that old school Cajun meat markets like T-Jims are not only surviving, they are thriving. There are hundreds of rural groceries, quick marts, convenience stores and boudin parlors scattered across Acadiana with most doing land-office business.

A Small Kettle Sitting In A Puddle Of Blood

A Small Kettle Sitting In A Puddle Of Blood

Nobody on earth eats like the Cajuns do; indeed there are kings who’ve lived and died who never dined as well as the rural trenchermen of Southwest Louisiana.

The Finest ATM I've Ever Seen

The Finest ATM I’ve Ever Seen

T-Jim’s Grocery
928 Kaufman Street
Cottonport, La
71327

Hours
Mon-Fri 7am-6pm
Sat 7am-4pm
Sun Closed

  1. Well, I am betting that Jim’s Boudin is mighty tasty. However, Jim’s kitchen (processing area) needs some SERIOUS cleaning. I can’t believe that the local health department has not closed him down.

  2. RL Reeves Jr says:

    Hey Doc, there is a big difference between clean and sanitary. T Jim’s has been running for 51 years so I’d bet anything his facility is sanitary. RL Reeves Jr

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