The Boudin Blanc de Rethel PGI is a cooked sausage with a fine paste, obtained from the noble parts of the pork, such as legs and shoulders without hocks, and breasts without dugs, enriched with lard, milk and whole fresh eggs.
The production area of Boudin Blanc de Rethel PGI is limited to the administrative district of Rethel, including the following cantons: Chaumont-Porcien, Château-Porcien, Novion-Porcien, Juniville, Asfeld, Rethel, located in the Champagne-Ardenne region.
The pork and the lard are prepared and then mixed with the other ingredients. The resulting paste is made into sausage with natural casings. The cooking - a very important phase in the processing of this product - takes place through total immersion in boiling water. During the final phase, the sausages are cooled in refrigerated storerooms or under cold drinkable running water. Furthermore, the use of starch products, colorants or phosphates is strictly forbidden
Appearance and Flavour
Boudin Blanc de Rethel PGI comes in cylindrical portions that weigh between 100 gr and 130 gr, or 70 gr at the most for small formats, with a diameter of 32-34 mm for the hog casings, or of 20-26 mm for the sheep casings that are used for smaller formats. It has a light and homogeneous colour on the outside, while the paste varies from fine to medium. Its characteristics are a particularly succulent taste and strong greasiness.
The original recipe of the Boudin Blanc de Rethel PGI dates back to the 17th century, precisely when a King's officer, Chamarande, came to Rethel seeking refuge. He set up a delicatessen, where the first sausages of this kind were produced. Then, it was passed on from generation to generation, maintaining the basic ingredients, which give the product its specificity, and the traditional processing method. At the end of the 19th century, this product was advertised as the city specialty, increasing its fame, which continued developing in the following century. The production increase that took place during the past decade is strongly linked to the promotion activity of the Confrérie du Boudin blanc de Rethel, an association created in 1982.
The Boudin Blanc de Rethel PGI can be kept in the less cool part of a refrigerator for several days, but it can also be frozen for a maximum period of five-six months. The Boudin Blanc de Rethel PGI is available plain, flavoured with the Périgord black truffle with the addition of truffle oil, but also flavoured with mushrooms, onions or foie gras. It is eaten cut into small pieces as appetiser or served cooked as a course. Today's product is significantly less salty than in the past, even though it is absolutely consistent with the old recipe, where the adding of salt was the only preservation system. It is a gastronomic delicacy that is very popular on festivity occasions, slightly browned in butter and served with apple compote, sprinkled with champagne and croutons of French bread.
The product is sold as Boudin Blanc de Rethel PGI, available in several variants, specifically Boudin Blanc de Rethel PGI plain, mushroom, forestier, truffle or truffle flavoured. It is sold by weight at traditional retail store counters or in supermarkets, and pre-packaged in a vacuum in portions ready for consumers.
The traditional production method maintenance and the accurate raw material selection, which foresees the exclusive use of pork, milk and whole fresh eggs, lend the Boudin Blanc de Rethel PGI the particular succulence and greasiness that characterise it.