The arrival of a new anthology from humorist Calvin Trillin is an occasion for joy, and the pleasure is doubled by knowing that collections of Trillin’s work probably will have a few flattering things to say about Louisiana.
Trillin, who lives in New York City and writes humor pieces for a number of publications, including The New Yorker, is interested in a great many things, but one of his preoccupations is food. That’s made him a frequent traveler to Louisiana, and he’s become a witty and consistently admiring explainer of local cuisine to the rest of the country.
“Quite Enough Trillin,” a new book collecting about 40 years of Trillin’s best stuff, hits bookstores this month. It includes a funny piece called “Missing Links,” a valentine to one of his favorite dishes, boudin sausage.
“When people in Breaux Bridge or Opelousas or Jeanerette talk about boudin, they mean a soft, spicy mixture of rice and pork and liver and seasoning, which is squeezed hot into the mouth from a sausage casing, usually in the parking lot of a grocery store and preferably while leaning against a pickup,” Trillin tells readers. “I figure that 80 percent of the boudin purchased in Louisiana is consumed before the purchaser has left the parking lot, and most of the rest of it is polished off in the car. In other words, Cajun boudin not only doesn’t get outside the state; it usually doesn’t even get home.”
Trillin also observes that of all the indignities suffered by Cajuns over the years, “Nothing has been as deeply insulting as what restaurants outside of south Louisiana present as Cajun food.”
We’re glad south Louisiana cuisine has found a friend in Calvin Trillin. And we hope his new book will bring the news of our local cuisine to an even broader audience.