Andouillette: French Pig-Colon Sausage

Andouilette - Pig Colon SausageI discovered the (in)famous French sausage “Andouilette,” in an article at the Times Online (UK), which begins:

“I would never have discovered Troyes, a beautiful medieval town of timber-framed buildings, were it not for a pale, lumpy sausage made from pigs’ intestines that smells like a pissoir….”

Read the article

Definition: pis·soir (pis-wahr): A public urinal located on the street in some European countries.
[French, from Old French, from pissier, to urinate]

The author of the Wikipedia article about the sausage has a somewhat different take on Andouilette:

French andouillette, on the other hand, is an acquired taste and can be an interesting challenge even for adventurous eaters who don’t object to the taste or aroma of feces. It is sometimes eaten cold, as in picnic baskets. Served cold and sliced thinly, the smell, taste, and texture may be mistaken for an andouille [a milder, less stinky sausage], but on closer inspection the texture is considerably more rubbery and the meat has a more feces-like flavor. By contrast, many French eateries serve andouillette as a hot dish, and foreigners have been repulsed by the aroma, to the point where they find it inedible (see external links). While hot andouillette smells of feces, food safety requires that all such matter is removed from the meat before cooking. Feces-like aroma can be attributed to the common use of the pig’s colon (chitterlings) in this sausage, and stems from the same compounds that give feces some of its odors. (source)

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97 responses to “Andouillette: French Pig-Colon Sausage

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  2. Yum. I’m normally a very picky eater (eat snails but not frogs legs – frogs are so cute). But love andouillette. I was once married to a Frenchman from Burgundy were it is served with lashings of Dijon mustard mainly at cute little thatched restaurants called Courte Paille. Andouillette is stinky but so is Epoisse cheese (also from Burgundy).

  3. Andouillette is stinky but so is Epoisse cheese (also from Burgundy).

    Yeah, but the stench in the cheese is not of fecal origins. The differences here are like the differences between pig’s ass and cabbage.

  4. It’s more accurate to say that the feces and andouillette each have the same origin: the colon. Back in the States, I would pay a good price for a plate of andouillette with “ancient style mustard” and frites. Unfortunately it is not to be.

  5. Okay: Andouillette is made of colon, and merely smells like pigshit. Doesn’t make it sound any more palatable to me, but I’m sure it’s an acquired taste. Given the choice, for my part I would rather not aquire a taste for pig colon sausage embued with essence of pig shit*, with or without rustic stone-ground mustard and pommes frites,and the ravings of haute cuisine aficianados notwithstanding A savory bratwurst with kraut will do very nicely, thank you.

    *A “familiarity born from proximity” during the life of the hapless pig who gave his all, including crap-conduit/shit-chute, to the palates of hungry Frenchmen.

  6. I have worked in the factory in Troyes and I can vouch for the fact that the smell during production of the famous andouillette is much much worse than the rather pleasant barbequed charcoal aroma when dished up in a restaurant.

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  8. I tried these in Paris on two seperate occassions. I ordered them a second time because I could not believe that people actually enjoyed eating sausage that not only smelled of feces but tasted of them too. Apparently I was wrong. They do. I, however, do not.

  9. I just bought “Andouillette de Canard,” (Duck Andouillette), thinking that it obviously wouldn’t real colon, since nobody in their right mind would serve you poultry intestines. Turns out, it’s made of pig colon with duck meat. It smells like a mixture of poop and liver and blood sausage. The taste, with a strong red wine sauce and a lot of roasted onions, is passable, but not worth the stench released in my kitchen.

  10. That is the most disgusting thing I probably have ever seen in my life. Couldn’t even bite it. Next thing in a row would be to eat raw fesces I believe. Europe!

  11. Charlie Walton

    I enjoy Andouillette every time I visit France. The best is indeed at any Courte Paille. I did have some in a Lyon restaurant that was not as good, although the mustard sauce was far better.
    Favourite cheeses: Liverot, Pont L’eveque, Roquefort.

  12. I tried, I really tried….but this was about the worst experience I have ever had in my life. I love blood sausages, haggis, Yakiniku, etc….but this was horrible. The texture of rubbery intestine bits and the aweful smell of my last meal in Paris are still making me gag 2 days later. For me, the mustard sauce did nothing to counter the flavor of the sausage, if anything it intensified the flavor. I had to stop about 1/3 of the way through my meal as I almost tossed cookies right there at the restaurant. A taste I will never aquire

    • I am a Dan too. From Australia and my experience today with Andouillette was less than delightful in Lyon. Like Dan above I had 1/3 of it and the smellwas horrendous.

  13. My boyfriend ordered this mistakenly in a restaurant. It looked and smelt like a shit. We took a photo of it. To mark the fact that it was the worst meal we’d ever had in France. Probably ever.

  14. Just had my first – and definitely my last – andouillette in Arras, France. Both my husband and I took one bite, then quickly searched for our napkins to spit it out. I then proceeded to dissect my portion for scientific inspection (and photos), only to regret doing so moments later because it made our whole table smell like poo. I consider myself an adventurous eater — loved cow udder soup and sour lamb’s lung in Germany, for example, and adore sushi, if that’s even considered adventurous anymore – but andouillette? Absolutely could not handle it. However, hundreds of French people surrounding us were munching on these fascinating creations with true gusto (we were in fact at an andouillette festival, totally by accident as we’d just happened to visit Arras on the day of the festival). Thank goodness I had a lovely kir on the table to immediately kill the flavor, or I might have been walking around with “bouche d’andouillette” for the rest of the day.

  15. I am on my honeymoon in Paris. This is my first time in the city and it has been an amazing experience… despite the fact that I ordered andouillette for dinner tonight. I was trying to be adventurous and attempting to order a “French Delicacy.” It should be called the “French Travesty” and should be written about in history books. BEWARE. I had no clue what was about to happen as my blunt knife gnawed its way through the outer casing (The fact that I was cutting into pig colon is a whole different issue I was not aware of until reading this blog tonight.) When the casing split, bits and CHUNKS of indistinguishable meat spilled out and I was overwhelmed by an odor that seemed somewhat familiar. However, it wasn’t until I took the first bit that I realized it was, in fact, the scent of warm poop… grilled and served with a ground mustard and delicious mashed potatoes. My husband continued to chew his scrumptious steak as I tried to explain the taste…. I think my first description of it was to say it was “gamey” as to avoid being too descriptive in a crowded cafe. However, after the second bite, as I tried to contain my gagging, I corrected my description to be “It tastes like sh**” and I meant it literally. We laughed about it, and my husband tried to convince me that it was “ok” if you slop a spoon full of mashed potatoes on top cover the taste. NOTHING will cover, hide, or allow me to forget that taste. I was even a sport and tried to use a HEAPING pile of ground mustard to make it edible…. I think that mustard brings out all the natural aromas of poop cooked deep into the sausage. Double Gag. We, too, took a picture though I do not think I will need it to remind me about this experience. I traveled thousands of miles from home to taste the most disgusting thing I have ever encountered. Then, in true French style, I drank a bottle of Merlot to try to forget it.

  16. Yep….I know what you mean…every country has their version and it can be quite nasty!! Puerto Rico makes a blood sausage and a pork sausage but it does not smell of poop!

  17. So now I know too much about these sausages I’m trying out in a few minutes.

  18. Despite my name I´m not french. I am now i Troyes in business, which I´ve been several times before. I heard and read about this Andouilette, knowing it has a special taste and t´s origin in Troyes. I was convinced it was a tasty local dish, and this time I finally got the courage to order it in a restaurant. On the menu it said “Andouilette AAAAA”, which made me convinced that all bad I ever heard of this Andouilette was just ewvil lies.
    I couldn´t be more wrong.
    It smelled like pig sh**, it looked like like dog poop and it tasted like a mix of them. I was really eating a pig´s colon. Grilled and with a large scoop of Moutad de Dijon you could think it would taste less from the feces, but it didn´t.
    What could I do with all my friends from the city of Troyes, asking what I think about their delicious local traditional course? Only thing I could come up with was to lie, “It tastes special”, I tried, “-but I like it”. I ate most of this repelling colon dish, only leaving half an inch of the five inch sausage.
    I didn´t like it, it was disgusting, and this is the first time I´ve tasted Andouilette, and it is definitely the last.

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  20. English and American people SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED to talk about food
    You know absolutely nothing !

    • John, You’ve never eaten andouillette then?? It’s 2 months later and the smell of my 2 bites has not left my nose!
      Mandi (not English or American!)

    • FYI, all real (meaning traditional/natural) saussages are wrapped in intestines, yes, even your beloved bratwurst! (unless you prefer the industrial crap)

      For the rest, I’ll leave you eat surimi with baconaise, Mc Donalds and KFC, with Coca-Cola (Bottled in Saint Louis, as I was told it is the best one); when I enjoy Andouillette, foie gras and snails with a good Gevrey-Chambertin ;o)

      I think it is just two different way of enjoying food, and I CHOSE my side.

  21. John,

    There is some manner of authority that hands out/withholds permission to talk about food? Something like “The Supreme French Council on Talking About Haute Cuisine?”

    In that alternate reality, I am summoned before said Council:

    Grand Food Poo-bah: “Monsieur Rod – Is it true that you, in your blog, “Things That Stink,” did knowingly and willfully speak disparagingly of the French delicacy “Andouillete,” and that you did, knowingly and willfully, allow others to do the same in the comments section of your blog?”

    Rod: “Uh, oui. I sure did that theeng.”

    Grand Poo-Bah: “This is to inform you that YOU, all other AMERICAN PEOPLE and ENGLISH PEOPLE, ARE NOT ALLOWED to talk about food, because you know absolutely nothing!”

    Rod: “My reply, your Eminence, is that you can KISS MY HAIRY AMERICAN ARSE. I will talk about food whenever I please, and say whatever I like. I may do it even to spite you, you tiny- minded eater of pig’s arse and cabbage. Your mother was a ditchpig, and your father smelt of ANDOUILLETTE.”

    Now go away, or I shall talk shit to you a second time.

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  23. Yea, pretty lame contribution to the article John. So what if we have different tastes? Isn’t that what makes every culture unique?
    I find it hypocritical that you accuse us of only eating cheeseburgers, which only goes to show who really “knows nothing”.
    And in defense of the cheeseburger, there’s a damn good reason McDonalds and Quick are in every French town, but you won’t find a “McAndouillette” anywhere. Be glad that the people on here at least tried it. I tried my first Andouillette today in Bayeux (served warm with lots of pepper), and ate about 3/4 of it. I did not notice any pungent odors, and it did not taste of feces, but there was something just a little off about it that I could not place, hence I could not finish it.
    Bottom line John, if you like Andouillette great, if I don’t that’s my business. Stop being such a pretentious ass about us Anglophones.

  24. What are good old salty, mushy, pasty, english sausages made of if not pig’s colon? and looks quite indecent too…

  25. Tried andouillette several times in France 25 years ago – and never really liked it, just like many other people, who can generally eat anything: frogs, liver, kidney, veal brain, raw oisters and fish, stinky cheeses etc., but just not andouillette. It seems, you have to continue eating it, until you like it. Will try again next time in France. Now, some advocate Courte Paille for andouillette, which is surprising to me. Where should one really go to taste the best andouillette according to those who appreciate it?

  26. Yes, andouillette is an acquired taste. But so are many other foods – avocado, fennel, kidneys – so keep on trying. I now like andouillettes so much that they are a must have when I visit France. Miam miam (Eng: Yum Yum).

  27. Remarkable that people love or hate these. I just had my first hot reeking andouilette the other night in Paris. It did indeed smell like pig shit, and nothing else, but otherwise quite tasty. But I have to admit, by the second half, it was pretty overwhelming. Not something I’d seek out again with so many other delicious sausages in the world.

  28. Ken–
    I reach. Some good chewy Landjaeger, swedish potato sausage, chorizo, juicy bratwurst with kraut and stone ground mustard, on and on. Why hearken to pigshit when you have so many other choices?

    It’s like Andrew Zimmern and his big bowl of penis soup. There are umpteen delicious soups under the sun, some more adventurous than others….but ol’ Andrew’s gotta have some of that dickhead soup with a side of fried chicken intestines.

  29. I can be difficult with food, and I am not going to pretend I’m never squeamish. But I have never had problems with snails, seafood (except, for some reason, oysters), foie gras … or andouillettes , which I absolutely love. They – I’m greedy and like two on my plate – must be served with top-class chips, which some restaurants seem to think is asking for a lot , and plenty of Dijon mustard. And I must admit that until I started reading people’s objections to the dish, I had never noticed a farmyard smell. I’ve linked back to this discussion from my own site Salut!, where I recommend a good helping of andouillettes and her cousin’s chips if Kate Middleton really does need fattening up…

    • I have heard pommes frites mentioned in association with Andouilette more than once, so this may be one of the secrets. Although I must confess that I would rather have the chips next to that fresh from the sea, beer battered halibut that I had the other day. I do have an adventurous palate, but when I receive so many negative reports on a particular food, my tendency is to avoid that particular “delicacy” and go with the “time tested.”

  30. After a wonderful week in Paris, during which we sampled and devoured as much French deliciousness as we could we went out for our last celebratory meal at a local restaurant. After seeing “Andouillette AAAAA” on the menu at several establishments, we finally decided to ask what it was. We had no idea.

    My French is fairly good, but I’m out of practice, so when our waitress explained that andouillette is made from the particularly tasty and tender parts of the animal and a French specialty, we were intrigued. But something was lost in translation; especially for my husband, an adventurous eater, who ordered it based on my translation. Our experience did not include such things as grilling, mustard, sauce, or anything else that might hide the flavour. What was placed in front of us was five inches of grey, boiled sausage-like thing all on its own. Then my husband tried it. I could immediately see the look of confusion and disgust on his face. As the translation gaffe was mine, I offerred to switch plates – I had odered duck confit with a spiced honey sauce. Really, I said, I’m happy to trade, I’m sure I’ll enjoy it. Trust me, said my husband, you won’t. He was right. Although he had managed to eat several slices by this point, I could not even manage to swallow one. My first and only mouthful of andouillette ended up in a napkin that I subsequently hid on my lap, only to then discover that the odour had saturated the napkin and my hands as a lingering spectre of our culinary misadventure.

    As we left the restaurant, still not knowing what the “AAAAA” stood for, my husband remarked: “Can you imagine what the “B” grade tastes like?”

    Heed the warnings of those who have gone before you: just don’t do it.

  31. Obviously there are plenty of Europeans who (a) think Andouillette is disgusting and (b) happily chow down on McDonalds (or Quick), and conversely, numerous Americans with sensitive palates who won’t touch low-quality food, “John”. And hmm, I wonder where you got a name like that if you’re not American or British, at least by descent? Oh wait I’ve figured it out, you are a self-loathing American who has decided he’s now an honorary European b/c he spent a few days in Paris after college, courtesy of mummy and daddy of course. That being the case, I suggest you take your own advice and butt out of an otherwise pleasant and amusing conversation ya dummy.

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  33. Just home from Saulier in Burgundy and my Andouillette experience. I am NOT a fussy eater and told my host that frankly I eat ANYTHING… how wrong I was… Andouillette is THE WORST thing I have ever eaten.. apart from it smelling like the contents of a babies nappy, the taste was not much better… I actually had three mouthfuls out of politeness to my French host (who was tucking in quite happily)

    ‘Andouillette’ sound actually quite nice… but is actually vile.. DO NOT sample out of curiosity

  34. Andouillette…French for ” What have I just put in my mouth!!”
    Looks like a Spring roll…..tasty you would think. Wrong! It tastes and smells of Pig shit. Of course it would do! its made from pigs intestines. Everyone should try this marvel of French cuisine, man up and get it on your plate.

  35. I have been killing myself laughing at these posts!! My wife and I just had one of the best gourmet meals in Chablis France that I can remember. Unfortunately, the next day, we stopped at a cafe/bar before leaving Chablis to experience Andoullette for lunch. It was without a doubt the most vile thing I can ever remember eating. I tried many interesting things on this trip including pigs feet, terrine de tete, calfs brain etc, but this was the worst meal I’ve ever had. I excused myself after “lunch” to wash my hands and flush out my mouth and gagged and gagged in the washroom until I saw stars. Someone else finally came in and I had to get a grip!! Please, be adventurous but ignore Peter’s suggestion…. skip Andoullette and have something nice. Life is too short to eat “shit”!

  36. My story, repeated over and over again, last night in Paris, special meal ect…. I have described the flavour as distinct and unfamiliar. I never guessed what it really was and I like tripe!! A month later and this foody has trouble even thinking about any type of sausage….

  37. The stench in the cheese is not of fecal origins. Couldn’t even bite it!

  38. I had some in the summer whilst on holiday in Brittany. Ordered it a a quaint little restaurant. I thought it smelt a bit weird, but I’ll try anything once. It was actually really nice. I had it again in an omelette and would describe it as one of the best sausages I had whilst over there. Only just found out what its made of, while I was searching for a recipe to make my own. Might be a touch dificult getting hold of pigs colon from Tesco’s though!

  39. OMG… OM F G…. the worst thing ive EVER, EVER tasted. I just came back from Paris.

    We went for dinner before getting the eurostar and my girlfriend ‘interpreted’ the menu erroneously – much to my dismay. Its making me nauseous just to recall the incident. its utterly repugnant that people eat this stuff.

    ….ah well… at least i got a good story out of my weekend!

  40. Tried this by accident. It was grilled and amongst other sausages so I didn’t notice the odor until I was slicing it open on my plate. Managed to get one chewy, odoriferous bite down. One of my colleagues was prepared to ask if he could have a bite, then thought better since I wasn’t eating it. We still talk about this encounter with As* Sausage. Can’t imagine I would ever want a second encounter For those that want to know, AAAAA stands for Association Amicale des Amateurs d’Andouillettes Authentiques (Amicable Association of Lovers of Authentic Andouillette),

  41. I guess this kind of sausage is not for everyone’s palate or nostrils as it is quite odorous but there is no needs for all of these insults. I would do anything to have some right now. It is one of my favorite things to eat (not easy to get in the US) along with it’s American cousin the chitterlings. I have 15 lbs of chitterlings in my freezer right now and a recipe to make my own Andouillettes. I plan on making them in the spring with the help of my mother,, outdoors of course as I do not want my house to smell. I hope I am successful for we shall feast.

  42. It doesn’t smell like feces nor does it taste like it! How does one know anyway the taste of poop? It must be an acquired taste, so glad I have it, would love to have a good andouillette right now with good old mustard and mashed potatoes. Yum.

    • AC and dominicmoss you were clearly ripped off! The whole point of it is the poo experience. AC: anyone who’s ever opened their bowels knows what it smells like! (And we all know taste is shaped by smell)

    • Smell and taste, it is well known, are allied senses (which is why you can’t taste anything when you have a bad cold). Thus it IS possible for something to “taste” like a “smell.” For my part, I worked on a pig farm in my teens, and I am immediately going to know the smell of pigshit, the minute I get a whiff. It is unmistakable. Admit, AC – either you were served something else (Andouille, possible? Because without the “ette,” it’s a whole different ballgame), or you like the taste of shit. Which wouldn’t be a first, so don’t beat yourself up about it.

  43. I will eat most things but I wouldn’t bother with it again. Its nothing like English black pudding or even white pudding from Scotland. I don’t think it tasted of shit though, or even smelled of it.

  44. I have to say reading thew comments have given me a pretty good laugh. I work in France but live in England and I first encountered Andouilette in 1976 and was pretty repulsed by it, although it has grown on me over the years and while I can’t claim to be an affectionado I like to try it now and again. It can be great fun to eat it with people who have no idea about what it is just to see their faces, I did this with my children whe they were youngh and I’m waiting patiently now to do the same to my grand children. My other half thinks it is disgusting and a work colleague actuallt retched until he had to leave the room and be sick, how we all laughed!!!!

  45. Kind of Lingers

    Andouillette a la mode de Caen or life is an andouillette sandwich ;-The French have a love affair with shit (merde alors!) it starts with their ancient shit clagged u bend free plumbing, especially the old turk outs, but continues into the bedroom with analingus, politics with little shits like Sarkosy (quote ‘andouillette like politics is better with a wiff of shit!’) and cuisine with andouillette! Being a Francophile I’m aware that the French have often been criticised for their lack of hygiene, this is often very much down to choice not just down to laziness. Hence when you are served Moules Marinière that are still primed with the out fall from a treatment works and you subsequently shit your liver into a hepatic oblivion (unfortunately also an experience of mine in Caen!), this is probably laziness, whereas a shitty andouillette will be by some perverse choice, which seems laughably quoted above to be accompanied by the AAAAA quality sign (remember quintuple assholes) . My first introduction to Andouillette was in Paris, where I was informed it was basically a sausage full of assholes! It wasn’t thankfully shit loaded, this was to come much later, so I quite enjoyed it. I was also kindly informed on a French campsite, when I ordered it many years later, that ‘did I know what it was made of’ again this was a shit free sausage and a pleasant culinary experience and the warning was not required!

    It was on the final leg of a French train journey, that necessitated waiting for a connecting train to Cherbourg in Caen Railway station with a nuclear waste train sat in the sidings opposite from Cap de la Hague, that I sought a menu de jour at a nearby restaurant. Seeing Andouillette on the menu stirred these old memories of this spicy chewy sausage, but when two ‘steaming turds’ arrived along with a waft of satan’s aftershave I didn’t know where to start, and was left thinking I would have been safer sat next to the nuclear waste. My Spanish partner was also in a state of cultural shock, even though the Spanish are renown for eating everything on the pig bar the oink, she looked on me with some disgust, while I tried to avoid connecting the smell with the steaming turd shaped and smelling object entering my mouth, we could not also have been alone in the small bijou restaurant on noticing this pong.

    Needless to say the eating experience was just as grim as the smell x 100! I left the second ‘turd’ and could only think after the previously tasty Andouillettes I had experienced that I had been delivered ‘a shit sandwich’ because I was an Englishman, and this was repayment for bombing Caen shitless in the war! Of course this was no where near the truth, I had indeed been ‘served up a homemade delicacy’ and being a typically ungrateful Brit I didn’t leave, along with the second untouched by human hand ‘steaming turd’, a tip! At this stage one understands the french passion for for such drinks as 50% pastis, creme de menthe or anything that is plus 40% in alcohol that will sterilise the mouth and take away the fecal matter taste and the hazzard of lingering dog shit breath!

    To say I felt sullied was an understatement, it normally takes hard core drug addiction to take part in this sort of Scatological debauchery that is usually the sole preserve of German porn! But did it put me off andouillette, well the answer is yes and no, at least I didn’t get the shits (I won’t eat moules again). A chef I know well commented “it’s all down to the cleaning of the gizzards”, his andouillette were thankfully spicy and shit free! So there you are, to the uninitiated beware, and when there is a ‘smell of the countryside’ or you think you are sat too close to nearby toilets, but you cant see them, and you then you see AAAAA next to Andouillette on the menu remember AVOID AVOID AVOID AVOID AVOID!
    especially when google translates as Friendship Association of genuine sausage lovers (AAAAA) a dodgy euphemism if ever I heard one!

  46. I can;’t belive the ridiculous stories, unless these people had the bad luck to hit a bad traiteur. I love andouillette but always buy from a reputable traiteur. I have eaten them for 40 years in France. i once bought a box of chitterlings from a ghetto supermarket in santa Barbara and made andoulillettes according to Jane Grigson”s recipe in her 1960s book, French Charcuterie. I can send photos and recipe if anyone is interested.

  47. taste is definitely a cultural thing. i try to be quite adventurous and part of what defines the concept of “soul food” is the origins…when you are poor, you learn to like everything. I am French and am very interested in the art of charcuterie. The strangest thing for me in this thread is the repeated mention of The Court Paille restaurant chain as a source for the best andouilletes. Court Paille (Short Straw) is a chain and the andouilletes are always on the lunch special menu, but hardly worth mentioning as a definitive experience.

  48. btw, I have the Jane Grigson book and she is probably the best english language source for authentic charcuterie recipes.

  49. Tried it for the first time in Vichy – the person I was dining with ordered it but cautioned me against eating it. She did give me a taste and I quickly agreed that it wasn’t for me.

    Second experience was more a friend’s experience – he read the english translation of andouillette which was listed as sauage and ordered it and his wife ordered the salmon tartare thinking it was salmon with tartar sauce. Needless to say neither was very happy with their food.

  50. Our first encounter with Andoillette is a long one…but let it suffice to say that I was the one who persuaded my wife’s family (including the Queen – my mum-in-law) to go to France in the first place. I knew the father of a friend of mine lived in a town by the name of Le Fait Angles (sp?) and so we stayed in his picturesque old farm like home. He treated us to some of the best cuisine we had ever had the privilege of putting in our mouths…until…the infamous sausage attacked our nostrils long before it actually reached the table. My wife fled the room and never return again. The Queen tried hiding the remnant of what she simply could not swallow under her knife. My sister-in-law hissed, “eat more bread, it takes the taste away”, while my bro-in-law gulped down copious amounts of wine after each fork-full. Needless to say, most of it was thrown out for the local dogs to chew on during the night. I wasn’t a bit surprised when, come morning, the mess was still lying there untouched. We have been many places in this world, and have put many strange things in our mouths, but nothing, not even eating the hottest curry while seated in a sewer filled patch of land, comes close to the alarming foulness of this sausage.

  51. I was poisoned by the poo sausage. Being a lover of sweetbreads, I mistakenly thought a french sausage of “chitlins” would be a tasty adventure. The urine smell was a tad repelling at first, but the brown mustard seemed to mask it, and I managed to finish it with the help of two cold bottles of Afligem. It seemed that it was undercooked, but being unfamiliar with this meal I still do not know. What I do know is that I was ill for the next three days.

  52. Just had my first encounter with andouillette last week in Burgundy. Of course I thought I was ordering something similar to the andouille sausage of Louisiana. I found the aroma “interesting”. I did manage to finish half of it. When my wife asked if it tasted as bad as it smelled, I assured her it wasn’t that bad and offered her a taste. She cut off a slice and put it in her mouth, and then her gag reflex kicked in and spit it out. “Tastes like the diarhea we had in Paris from eating too much foie gras!” I googled this blog out of curiousity to see if this is really how it is supposed to taste, and my instincts are confirmed. Imagine the humiliation if I had sent it back and had the chef come out and say “But monsieur, is exactly what you ordered and is exquisitly prepared! Do you not know what andouillette is?” It is still not as bad as the tapas I ordered in Pamplona. The barman raised his eyebrows to say “Are you sure?” It turned out to be a deep fried sparrow, bones and all!

  53. I don’t know whether it was because I had a bit of a cold or whether it was the several varieties of alcohol I’d sampled at the food festival in question, but I tried andouillette fully knowing what it was, and while I only ate half and wouldn’t go there again, it was fine. And now I can say I’ve tried it!

    I think I was more grossed out by boudin noir (blood sausage) – I picked it up off a deli platter at a friend’s birthday party by mistake (it was quite dark in the bar) and as soon as I put it in my mouth, I knew what it was. Horrible texture!

  54. Actually I just had it, and it’s awesome! I love it!!! 🙂

  55. Smells like pig anus

  56. I had it a month ago near Reims and thought it was horrible.Tried one mouthfull, gagged and threw it in the bin so as not to offend the smelt like shit, tasted like shit and looked like donkey cock. Even had what looked like a aps eye one end.

  57. Whenever someone tells me it’s an acquired taste, I dive right in. Well I LOVE andouillette, ever since my Parisian friend introduced me to it in France in the 1990s. Unfortunately, I can never find it in the States, even in NYC. There is a place in California that stocks it, but the shipping cost is about $80.! So I am andouillette-less. If anyone knows of a US source on the east coast, please let me know. To all those who don’t like it, I would love to have your portion for myself.

  58. When my wife and I were in France for the first time we had a while to kill at the train station in Paris. I ordered “Andouillette” thinking it was “Andouille”. Look it up. Two different parts of the pig. At the too-close little table next to us a French couple, eating burgers and fries, watched me take my first, and then my second bite….that was more than enough for me. Candace smelled it and wouldn’t even nibble. It is quite unusual for her to be so stand-offish with ‘new’ foods. We could FEEL the French couple mumbling “American Idiot!!” under their breath. And they were right !!!

  59. If you can’t get it in your local area here’s a simple recipe: Kill a pig. Rip out its intestines, especially the lower parts. While you’re at it, grab the bladder and urethra. Make a halfhearted effort to squeeze out the contents of all parts. Stuff all of the smaller tubes into the largest available tube. Don’t bother to cook it. That’s Andouillette.

  60. Jean-frédéric

    My 2 cents : as a 40 yo french guy, I can assure you that andouillette is not a common meal in France at all. I’ve never had it, and I can’t think of anyone I know that would eat andouillette regularly. I’d say that 30+ have tried it once or twice but actually very few are those who actually have andouillette more than once every few years…

    • My friend Bruno from Parie is visiting these few days and I asked him about frogs and Andouillette. He only tried frog once in his 40+ years and never had Andouillette. So is the french obsession with frogs and bloody duck a myth? His answer is YES.

      • Oh how the French have changed, particularly the young. I am a 61 year old British guy who tried Frogs in his 30s, and liked them along with snails but also andouliette. OK, it was perhaps a little strong the first time, bit I eat it occasionally (because I work in France), but it still give me great amusement to order it sometimes when I have visitors from Britain…

  61. I thought I could handle any food. Frog legs, liver(cold, fried, stewed…), kidney(steak kidney pie or just stir-fried with pepper), lamb fries(bbq), veal brain, raw oysters(or the bbq Rocky Mountain oysters), sea urchin, sea cucumber, fermented fish(the tasty kind, not surströmming), stinky cheese(not mere blue cheese), fennel, snails, fried locust, fried scorpion,
    stinky tofu, durian(a smelly fruit in South-East Asia), garlic(if it repells vampires, what can it do to some mere human?).

    But I retreated as the waiter brought the dish of hot andouillette. It was not allowed on our table and was quickly returned to where it came. Unfortunately the smell lingered on for the rest of the meal.

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  63. I’m sorry for the masses who have an unimaginery pallet . Andouilettes are a delicacy that needs little practice to enjoy. Discovered on my first visit to France I regularly seek them out. There is only one store in Australia, in Lygon St, Melbourne , we’re they can be found! Just like blue cheese, kidney, liver etc… they are all delicious. You just need to open your mind !

    • I wish unimaginary was the problem….with the evocative smell and awful taste, I can imagine that nasty white tube still attached to the pig and full of what gave it the flavor. My mind was open both times I tried it… looks and tastes awful. I eat liver, kidneys (I don’t like them either), tripe, heart, calves brains (also nasty, but they smell great), black pudding, haggis, durian (which smells like corpses immolated in a rubber tire pyre), stinky tofu, Kiszka…..andouillette was the worst thing I have ever tasted.

      • Thanks for the post, I hadn’t come across Durian before so I just Googled it. Now that is a MUST try, where can I get some in the UK? 🙂

  64. When something has an odor reminiscent of feces, I find it difficult to bring my adventurous palate to bat. I mean, with all the delicacies to be tried in this world, what is so special about andouilette that one should have to “practice” enjoying it? Eggs smell like farts: but I never had to “get by” that to enjoy them. Liver and kidney taste like you’re eating the eternal organs of an animal, and upon trying them, found them so unpleasant, what could possibly compel me want to grow accustomed to them when I could enjoy prime rib instead.

    Personally, I think that “offal” has become trendy, and the artsy-fartsy foodie posers go for it in order to appear as the new cosmopolitans, the new “chic.” “Hey, look at me, I’m dining on pig’s arse and cabbage, that makes me more adventurous and cosmopolitan than you….”

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  66. I tried it knowing what it was; had heard all the jokes about it. I just really liked it. ‘That’ smell is only one element of the flavour, however the faecal ‘mustiness’ did really seem to go with the mustard and chips.

    I like offal. I grew up with black pudding and steak ‘n kidney in Tasmania (family has a strong English influence). Both have been favourites all my life. Oddly, Australians from the ‘big island’ universally seemed to produce an ‘ewwww’ at the black pudding thing.

    Since living in England I’ve developed a love of haggis. One reason to eat this kind of thing is that because not that many eat offal, it is cheap … Marks & Spencer haggis was only £2 last time I got it.

    As for how the smell arises. Well, those who like steak ‘n kidney must of course know that the tangy flavour of kidney has a similar origin to how andouillette gets its smell, so about half of Britain is presumably OK with a meat dish that smells and tastes of piss. Put in that context, that bodily wastes would create a yummy flavour is not surprising.

    My French mate now sends a special ‘AAAAA’ to me once or twice a year although I am sure you can get some in London.

    A few here should be less exercised at putting down other people’s food tastes on the one hand, and some should not sneer at others who they deem less adventurous. It should be about the food. What can you say other than that this is a delicacy that is just not to all tastes?

    A lot of the denunciation that singles andouillette out is a learned cultural thing about faeces and that is being picked up and applied, I think over-moralistically to a food that is rather less offensive than you’d imagine if no one brought that moralising to bear.

    I have been eating jellyfish for years in Chinese restaurants; it was cut into strips and I just thought it was a salty type of noodle. Had I known, I might have refused it and would have missed out on a very tasty food.

    There’s a heck of a lot of French people who also don’t like andouillette; those who don’t are in good company. The last brasserie I had it, somewhere in the country north of Paris, most were amused at a foreigner tucking into it. One lady looked pleadingly at me and said in English ‘we do have nicer things, you know.’

  67. This is the worse stuff ever. I discovered this blog while writing my own blog about this stuff.

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  69. Damn this thread is one of the funniest things I have read in a long time, even if I feel I am also laughing at my own misfortune after returning from France and trying the infamous andouillette or what, as from now I refer to as the ‘Shit Sausage’ !!!

    I am no fussy eater being a massive fan of fruits de mer, and every other French dish I have tried but the Shit Sausage took it too far………

    On this trip I was accompanied by my Wife and my Parents, when my Mother told me that the andouillette was a Sausage that my Brother In Law had tried out there a few years back and knowing he is one of the fussiest eaters I have met, I thought this would be safe, unfortunately this time around she got a little confused with a Bratwurst and an andouillette.

    After the fantastic description of it being a “Very special Sausage” from the waitress I had to give it a go.

    It arrived at the table looking all char grilled and lovely, no problem I thought, I cut in to it………Big problem I thought !!!!

    Bring on the aroma of Pig Shit…………

    Not being one to turn down a meal paid for by the parents and not wishing to appear rude I forced down every inch of that bad boy…..then excused myself !!!

    I sat on the crapper holding on to it for dear life with sweat pouring down my brow and the fowl taste of Pig Shit not remotely trying to leave my palate.

    I can now say I have tried it at least and never again, however I am looking forward to taking my boys and their families over to France, offering to pick up the bill for everyone and recommending that beautiful french sausage to them :))))

  70. My story is similar to many others on here. My sister warned me years ago about andouillette – she lived in Paris and described the stink in great detail. So on many visits to France I heeded her advice, despite seeing it on the menu in many brasseries in which we enjoyed delicious meals.
    How bad could it really be? Doubt crept in. She must be exaggerating.
    Then today, uncertain about what to order as I sat down for lunch with my wife outside a l little brasserie in Le Touquet, the couple on the table next to ours tucked in to their andouillettes with clear relish. Yes, there was a smell, but if anything it was more pissy than shitty and in rash moment of impromptu bravado I ordered one.
    My wife had to lean back from the table and try not to breath through her nose, even as I said: “You know, it tastes much better than it smells.” And it really did. Like a strong haggis.
    There was no mustard with my sausage, which would have helped, rather a bernaise-like sauce, which seemed to make the sausage taste worse so I left it on the side.
    I tried not to look too closely at the tubular texture of the ‘meat’ and found that as long as I was eating it, I couldn’t smell it.
    I ate most of it, and felt pretty pleased with myself. My wife looked quite horrified, it hadn’t done anything for the enjoyment of her goat’s cheese salad.
    I looked forward to the bragging rights and telling my sister that she was missing out on a real treat.
    But 5 – 10 mins after finishing, things started to stir – this wasn’t good. I excused myself from the table and walked as calmly as I could to the toilet.
    Damn, was I sick! All of it got flushed out and away. Andouillette 1, Me 0.
    It was like my stomach asserting it’s territorial rights: “there’s only one colon allowed in this body…”
    I tried, but I won’t be trying it again. And the next time someone warns me off a ‘local delicacy’ I’ll take their advice.

  71. I tried this terrible delicacy in August this year. I have to say I did not know what I was ordering (I like to order ‘surprise’ meals) but never would have expected ANYONE to use the ingredients that are used in this. I have to say the taste was not really terrible, but ultimately my meal smelled like white and this is what prevented me from finishing. Oh, that and the HAIRY unidentifiable bits of tubey stuff that spilled out. I have eaten plenty of offal,, pigs tails, snails etc and enjoyed them all. This is only the second meal of my adult life that I remember not finishing and I am 40 years old. Beware – only try if you are very adventurous or completely lack a sense of smell (and don’t mind eating hairy entrails).

  72. Sorry – spell checker changed one of my words to white. Work out where the Sh should go!

  73. I’m currently in Normandy and my friend Sarah ordered andouillette earlier today, thinking that you can’t ever go wrong with a sausage. Oh my life. She had one mouthful before declaring it to be “too strong” (something of an understatement there) and utterly inedible, with the mere sight and stench of it leaving me very close to vomiting and putting me right off my omelette jambon fromage. Really, dear readers, avoid.

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  76. Where can I find these in New York?

  77. Just finished two vintage Inspector Maigret novels. In each one he had andouillettes for lunch. In one case they were described as being fresh and crisp. Perhaps they aid crime solving.

  78. I absolutely adore andouillette,it has an amazing taste and the aroma,well what can I say.Whenever its on the menu here in France I will always order it .Just beautiful.

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  81. There are few things I will not eat. Literally. That’s not a boast, but a fact. On a recent trip to the Burgundy region of France, however, I chanced across Andouillette. My buddy and I, both sausage lovers, assumed that it was a local Andouille, a nice, spicy sausage of Cajun extraction. No. This tasted and smelled exactly like feces and you could see, in the cross section of the sausage that it was obviously colon. My buddy insisted on trying it after my reaction. He shared my opinion. My wife, amazingly enough, asked to try it. I said no. She insisted. Two minutes later, she had run out and was puking violently in the bushes in front of the restaurant. Restaurateurs do not like that. Then don’t, literally, serve s**t.

  82. I haven’t laughed so hard since watching the first Naked Gun film as a teenager! Thank you all for sharing your andouillette expériences! I will never knowingly eat these ever again – even if many of the French think they’re from heaven – they make me heave!

  83. We made the mistake of trying this pig’s colon sausage in Provence. A local explained that during the war when food was scare people would eat the pigs muck-shoot filled with all manner of dodgy bits including the dreaded SH1T. The foul smell of this disgusting beast is attributed to the colon, it’s contents and all associated with it…SH1T! So it is a war food meant only for desperate measures. Haute Cuisine my hole… are you French havin a laugh!!!

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  85. This is hilarious! “aroma of feces” If you think endouillette smell like feces you guys were probably sitting too close to the bathroom when you ate it or you just ate at the wrong place! Those are consider delicacy cause it takes a lot of time and work to make it and it isn’t easy to make it well. MY guess is you ate bad ones. Sure the smell is strong just like tripe another yumi delicacy, but comparing the taste or smell to feces is quite extreme. It Certainly beats the plastic sausages and the chemical easy cheese in cans sold in some coutries.

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