Back in 1972 the city of LaPlace threw a fete to celebrate the revered sausage, and hundreds of people crowded onto the LaPlace Drag Strip to revel amongst vendors selling cracklins, po boys, and bowls of gumbo filled with the smokey forcemeat.
46 years later the festival is one of the largest in Louisiana.
LaPlace bills itself as the “The Andouille Capital of the World” and with good reason. The best purveyors on earth are all located on la Cote des Allemands or the German Coast that flanks the village along the Mississippi.
Three years after New Orleans was established in 1718, the communities of Mariental, Augsburg, Hoffen, and Karlstein were settled by German pioneers who quickly busied themselves clearing the land, building homes, and planting crops to keep both their families and their hogs and cattle fed through the harsh Louisiana winters.
Since you couldn’t run down to New Orleans to buy a refrigerator at Sears and Roebuck in the 18th century you had to figure out how to preserve the meat you’d worked so hard to raise during the summer months. There’s a centuries old tradition of curing and smoking meat in Germany and these settlers brought this art to the strange new land of Louisiana.
Three hundred years later the old charcutieres of St. John the Baptist Parish are still grinding fresh hog meat, stuffing it into beef middles, and slow-smoking it over hardwood fires.
If you like fresh sausage and passing a good time with a few thousand friendly Cajuns, Creoles, and plain old country folks then you may want to visit LaPlace this weekend for the Andouille Festival.
LaPlace Andouille Festival
October 19th, 20th, and 21st 2018
St. John Community Center
2900 U.S. Hwy 51