I was visiting a friend, and her command cooking request was for me to whip up a pot of gumbo, eat some now, freeze some individual servings, and I’m always delighted when people ask me to cook for them. Validation. I remember the first time recognition really happened, we were hosting a dinner party in Paris, and a stranger walked up to me and asked “did you make the mayonnaise?” Be still….
Anyway, my pal doesn’t live in an area with easy access to true Louisiana ingredients, so the closest we could come to traditional Andouille was Aidell’s “Cajun Style” Andouille.
Aidell’s has been around for about thirty years, started by a chef, primarily chicken sausages at the time, but a full line now, under the ownership of Hillshire, which recently was purchased by Tyson.
The ingredients list is straightforward: PORK, WATER, SALT, SPICES (INCLUDING RED,WHITE AND BLACK PEPPER), GARLIC, SUGAR, PAPRIKA, CELERY POWDER AND DEHYDRATED ONION.
“Celery powder” (or juice) is being used by manufacturers for flavoring and preserving, as a substitute for MSG. It has a little bit of naturally occuring nitrate in it.
These sausages are smoked, and thus pre-cooked. You can heat and eat in whichever method your prefer. I like charring them a bit in a cast iron skillet, adds to the illusion of having a natural casing. (Tho these do have a nice snap).
The ‘heat factor’ is minimum, you can taste the smoke and the celery. It’s a slightly coarse grind (pictured) much more appealing than andouille in France. Trust me on that one and never order it. You can find Aidells near you with their locator, or order online from their site.
Aidells andouille Sausage Review