Where to eat andouillette in Troyes | Ann Mah

« | Home | »

Where to eat in Troyes

By Ann | September 19, 2013

les andouillettes

Troyes is a charming town in the Champagne region — about 100 miles southeast of Paris — with curving cobblestone streets, rows of medieval timber-frame houses, and a magnificent flamboyant Gothic cathedral. It’s also the capital of andouillette.

Andouillette has a dubious reputation and that’s because it smells, well, like shit. It’s a sausage made of tripe, highly-seasoned, and boiled for hours. The flavor is reminiscent of bologna (salty and highly seasoned) the texture of rubber bands (slippery and ropy).

Do you know what tripe is? I didn’t before I investigated andouillette. It’s stomach lining, pale, wrinkly and part of the digestive process (hence the smell). Most of the world eats it, but perhaps no other town values it as much as Troyes, where tripe sausages have their very own fan club — the Association Amicale des Amateurs d’Andouillette Authentique — which protects standards of production. If you see AAAAA on a restaurant menu, you know the andouillette has won the association’s seal of approval.

dégustation

Maury

Where to eat andouillette in Troyes?

Patrick Maury (photo above) (28 rue Général de Gaulle, Troyes, tel: 03 25 73 06 84) is an award-winning charcutier in the heart of town. Since he took over the shop from his father in 1995, he and his sausages have won over seventy awards. They are well-deserved: my friend Sylvain — a Frenchman with a penchant for andouillette — proclaimed Maury’s the best he had ever tasted. Note: Maury does not participate in the AAAAA, because the association focuses mainly on industrial andouillette, while his are proudly artisanal (that is, handmade).

Lemelle (products found at Monoprix, LeClerc, and other supermarkets) is a family-owned factory producing excellent, AAAAA-winning andouillette since 1973.

Au Jardin Gourmand (31 rue Paillot de Montabert, Troyes, tel: 03 25 73 36 13) is a cozy restaurant with a book-lined dining room that resembles a library. The menu offers eleven preparations of andouillette, ranging from the simple — grilled or pan-fried — to the complex — adorned with cream and cheese sauces, or crowned with foie gras. Non-andouillette enthusiasts will find a small selection of tripe-free dishes like steak or fish — I have to admit, when I ate here, I had the grilled salmon.

After the jump: Find out how the sausage is really made! (Not for the faint of heart.)

porc

Patrick Maury was kind enough to invite me into his spotless laboratoire for an andouillette demonstration. As I discovered, it all begins with half a slaughtered pig — Maury buys one once a week and makes 90% of his own merchandise.

uncut tripe

After soaking and scalding the tripe, it’s cut into zigzagging, interconnected strips.

seasoning

Seasonings are sprinkled onto the tripe strips: chopped onions, salt, pepper, nutmeg, Maury’s secret blend of spices, and a drizzle of Champagne and white vinegar. The mixture is left to marinate for two to three hours.

enrobement

Years of experience have made Maury deft and sure-handed. To the left, are strips of marinated tripe, twisted together. To the right, the tripe after the “enrobement,” slipped into intestine casings to form sausages.

finished product

In the final step, the sausages simmer for at least five hours in a vegetable bouillon, losing about a third of their volume to attain the sleek, compact shape in the photo above. People flock to Troyes to buy Maury’s andouillettes: he sells between 1,300-1,500 pounds of them a week.

troyes ville

cathedral

vitraux

*

Hungry for more? Today’s post is a companion to my new book, Mastering the Art of French Eating, a food memoir that Library Journal called “an enjoyable and thoughtful read that sparkles with humor.”

Curious? Order your copy here:
*Amazon
*Barnes and Noble
*Books-A-Million
*Indiebound
*iTunes

And more from the series, Where to Eat in France.

Topics: Mastering the Art of French Eating, Where to eat in France | 12 Comments »

12 Responses to “Where to eat in Troyes”

  1. Pat Says:
    September 19th, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    The only time I eat tripe is when my mum makes her yummy coconut and kaffir lime soup! I’d be game to try andouillete though–gotta try it before I can decide if I like it or not :). Great to have photos to go along with what I read in your book!

  2. Ann Says:
    September 19th, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Pat — Coconut and kaffir lime sound like the perfect way to mask the tripe aroma!

  3. Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) Says:
    September 20th, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Never been brave enough to try andouillette but I should…. Loved Troyes – it’s such a pretty town!

  4. CK Says:
    September 20th, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Troyes is gorgeous (and they have a very good tourist information office). But otherwise, this was an offal post!

  5. Roger Stowell Says:
    September 20th, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Very good to have found your site. I am amongst those who find the lack of good provincial restaurants lamentable.In the Vendee, where we have lived for the last 13 years, I may have eaten at two, three at the most, good restaurants. I now don’t bother and eat at home. In the end I love the ingredients here and have no need to go to mediocre restaurants…..the menu ouvrier at lunchtime is probably the most enjoyable:)

  6. Lynde Says:
    September 20th, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Well, after your description, this will not be on my list of foods to try. The town, yes, andouillette no.

  7. adeline Says:
    September 20th, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Andouillette reminds me of the Chinese sausage Lap Cheong. Wonder if they taste similar.

  8. jeanne Says:
    September 21st, 2013 at 12:57 am

    Naively, my husband ordered andouillette at a restaurant in Paris. The smell was so strong and so foul, I was sure it would make us sick. My husband bravely ate about half of his sausage and all of my chicken. (I completely lost my appetite from the smell). We didn’t mention to the waiter that we didn’t like it but he brought us a complimentary glass of wine.
    The rest of our trip we kept smelling the andouillette smell as we passed trash bins. It is something we’ll never forget.
    So looking forward to the arrival of your book.

  9. Parisbreakfast Says:
    September 21st, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Thanks for the last few pics..
    Now I can open my eyes.
    Just crossed this town off the list. You can eat prayer books.

  10. Parisbreakfast Says:
    September 21st, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Can’t!
    Apple is so annoying ;((

  11. Susan Carter Says:
    September 24th, 2013 at 1:33 am

    Have neveer tried andouillette but love Troyes – a charming town. While there, I ate mussels & frites.

  12. Peter Jarrett Says:
    September 27th, 2013 at 1:12 am

    For the first few years of my love affair with France, I felt the need to try “ethnic things”. This obviously included andouillete which is ubiquitous throughout tourist menus in France. Le vrais andouillete etc. after possible a dozen times to find out what all the fuss was about I thank heaven gave up and put it down to experience. Even the French can screw up food! Andouiette is proof of that. This comes from someone who loves haggis and is not a scot!

Comments

« | Home | »