The root word is familiar to most of us.
Andouille is a coarse-grained smoked meat made using pork, pepper, onions, and seasonings. Andouille is French in origin, but has also been brought to Louisiana by French or German immigrants. Andouille is mostly associated with Cajun cooking.
However, andouille and andouillette are not the same. Emily Monaco explains at Food and Wine.
The fact that andouillette is divisive is not necessarily a bad thing, according to (Vincent) Ferniot. In a globalized world of Instagrammable gourmet doughnuts and samey lacto-ferments on tables from Copenhagen to New York, there’s something comforting about the perennity of something so polarizing.
Monaco provides the definition you’re been looking for.
The Telegraph writes that it “looks, smells, and tastes as if it should be in a lavatory,” while CNN reports it has “an easily identifiable aroma of decay.” They’re talking about andouillette, a tripe sausage hailing from France’s Champagne region that’s as divisive as it is beloved-by those who can stomach it. (Pun very much intended.)
Andouillette boasts several regional variants, but its most well-known form is associated with the city of Troyes: pork tripe is soaked, scalded, sliced, and seasoned with aromatics like onions, nutmeg, and even Champagne. It is then threaded by hand (“à la ficelle”) into its casing and simmered for several hours before being sold.
For the sake of clarity, “tripe is a type of edible lining from the stomachs of various farm animals.” Hence The Economist’s essay about the culinary art of subterfuge: “For most grown-ups, the ingredient that requires disguise is meat.”
The writer most assuredly is not a devotee.
(Andouillettes) are simply pigs’ intestines stuffed into a casing, then boiled or grilled. They have a slithery, entropic texture—slice into them and little grey curlicues slide out—and smell like a urine-soaked barnyard.
A mediocre hot dog is still a hot dog. A mediocre andouillette is botched abdominal surgery on a plate.
Hot dogs are an example of culinary subterfuge. Eating the “meaty” part of the animal are one thing; it’s using the organs and various leftover scraps that requires finesse.
German immigrants taught Americans to boil and mix them with oats and cornmeal to make goetta and scrapple, which are shaped into loaves, then sliced and fried crisp; served on toast, there is no better winter breakfast. A more widespread answer is to chop the bits up, season and pack them into casings—made from the animal’s intestines, another leftover—and turn them into sausage. For a hot dog, the meat is pounded into a paste (though most today contain no offal).
These themes are tied together in The Economist’s conclusion.
Nowadays most sausages are industrially made, and andouillettes are artisanal. To some that makes them worth defending as a holdout against processed uniformity, a stance that in theory has a virtuous appeal. In practice, there are as many ways to disguise scraps and offal as sausage as there are sausage-makers. Almost all of them taste better than andouillettes.
Back in the early 1980s, Wendy’s challenged us to consider the essence of parts. It might be the deepest philosophical concept ever to be widely publicized by a fast food restaurant.
As yet, your digital editor is refraining from red meat and fowl most of the time, while continuing to eat fish. It’s a sizeable reduction overall, but one open to periodic exceptions. My fundamental dietary belief is unchanged; if we’re to be meat eaters, and an animal must be killed to provide us with supper, then shouldn’t we eat ALL the parts?