Boudin (French pronunciation: [budɛ̃]) are various kinds of sausage in French, Luxembourgish, Belgian, Swiss, Québécois, Acadian, Aostan, Louisiana Creole, and Cajun cuisine.
The Anglo-Norman word boudin meant 'sausage', 'blood sausage' or 'entrails' in general. Its origin is unclear. It has been traced both to Romance and to Germanic roots, but there is not good evidence for either (cf. boudin. The English word "pudding" probably comes from boudin.
The term boudin in the Acadiana region of Louisiana is commonly understood to refer only to boudin blanc and not to other variants. Boudin blanc is the staple boudin of this region and is the one most widely consumed, and is just referred to as boudin. Also popular is seafood boudin consisting of crawfish or crab, shrimp, and rice. Most of Louisiana's Cajuns do not consider boudin a sausage.
Cajun boudin is available most readily in southern Louisiana, particularly in the Scott (considered to be the Boudin Capital of the World), New Iberia, and Lafayette areas, though it may be found nearly anywhere in "Cajun Country". Boudin can even be found in areas outside of this, including eastern Texas. There are numerous meat markets and Cajun stores devoted to the speciality, though boudin is also sold from many convenience and grocery stores in other towns and areas along Interstate 10 (i.e., Lake Charles area). Since boudin freezes well, it can be shipped anywhere outside the region. Boudin is one of the stars of Cajun cuisine (e.g., jambalaya, gumbo, étouffée, and dirty rice) and has fanatic devotees that travel across Louisiana comparing the numerous handmade varieties. From the Lake Charles to New Orleans areas, boudin's taste and flavors can vary. Some such as Foreman's Boudin Kitchen use no liver, and other such as Richard's Cajun Kitchen use liver.
Boudin Noir is available in Illinois in the Iroquois County towns of Papineau and Beaverville. The dish is the featured cuisine at the annual Beaverville Founder's Day, held the second weekend of September. People travel from hundreds of miles to partake of the boudin.
Boudin gave rise to "Le Boudin", the official march of the French Foreign Legion. "Blood sausage" is a colloquial reference to the gear (rolled up in a red blanket) that used to top the backpacks of Legionnaires. The song makes repeated reference to the fact that the Belgians do not get any "blood sausage", since the king of the Belgians at one time forbade his subjects from joining the Legion (the verse says "ce sont des tireurs au cul").