You are what you eat & drink

Andouille de Guemene

The French delicacy made of 25 layers of pig intestines

Guemene-sur-Scorff in north-west France may not be well known internationally, but a popular French delicacy was born in the town. The andouille de Guemene is a pork sausage made from pigs’ intestines and stomachs.

A local andouillerie, Rivalan Quidu, advertises its presence on the outskirts of Guemene-sur-Scorff in Brittany, France, with a sculpture in the corner of its vast car park.

You won’t need to take a great leap of imagination to visualise what a representation, in fibreglass, of two giant andouilles might be mistaken for, but the locals take their home-grown delicacy very seriously indeed.

A steady stream of customers – from passing tourists to lorry drivers on their regular beat – pull in to buy a chunk.

The andouille de Guemene is a relatively new phenomenon – the recipe having been created only in 1930 by Joseph Quidu, the son of a local farmer – but Gallic gourmands with a fascination for all elements of the gastrointestinal tract of a pig have embraced it as a classic.

As I push open the shop door I’m enveloped by the aromas of fat and smoke. I suspect just breathing the air could send my cholesterol levels into double figures.

The narrow shop is fitted out to resemble a Breton kitchen, complete with pine fixtures. Andouilles hang from every part of the ceiling like crinkly brown stalactites. At one end is a typically huge Breton fireplace – it too is festooned with andouilles, being smoked over a wood fire.

The stones are caked in glistening, sooty fat. Behind the counter is Benoit, husband of Joseph’s grand-daughter Francoise, who together with their children are carrying the tradition of the andouille de Guemene into its third and fourth generations.

Out at the back, away from the public gaze – and possibly out of respect for the squeamish – is the kitchen where the andouilles are created in a modern style true to Joseph’s original recipe.

Inspired, I like to imagine, by the act of pulling on more than one pair of socks to counter the cold and damp Breton winters, Joseph pulled one length of chaudin – or pig intestine – over another, and then another. Around 20 or 25 in all.

The salted intestines of three pigs, weighing in at 3kg, go into each andouille, which are then smoked over oak wood and dried, sometimes for months on end before being cooked slowly in stock. Cut through, the innards resemble pinky-grey tree rings carrying a distinctly smoky taste and aroma.

Source: BBCNews Read and see more

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