The French word, “boucherie,” actually means butcher shop, but it is also the word for an incredible social event that in the past brought together communities, and today unites lovers of Cajun culture across the state and country. Chef John Folse is hosting his fifth annual Fête des Bouchers (“party of butchers”) on Saturday, February 15th in Baton Rouge. Approximately 100 butchers and chefs from around the US will join forces to preserve this time-honored tradition. Last year, more than 250 guests attended to watch, learn and feast.
For Folse, the event is dedicated to keeping Cajun food heritage alive by focusing on the educational aspect of the boucherie and teaching others how to make delicacies such as hog’s head cheese, andouille, boudin, smoked sausage, cracklins and other spoils of the event.
Nothing is wasted at a boucherie. The intestines become the casings for andouille, boudin and sausage. The meat is cut into roasts, chops and ribs. Hams are cured in sugar brine and then smoked. The head and feet are simmered with lean trimmings and seasonings for hours; then, the meat is cleaned, finely chopped and cooled until jelled to create hog’s head cheese. The skin is boiled down into cracklins and lard.
For more information, contact White Oak Estate & Gardens at (225) 751-1882 or go to WhiteOakEstateAndGardens.com.