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Garden & Gun

BOUDIN WITHOUT BORDERS
BY JOHN T. EDGE

Link has traveled to Guadeloupe, a French department in the Lesser Antilles, to untangle the knotted roots and branches of Creole cuisine. Originally used by colonizers to refer to people born in the New World, the term Creole can also be applied to racial identity, language, architecture, and, yes, cooking. It’s often associated with New Orleans, where signal dishes such as gumbo z’herbes and oysters Rockefeller are commonly referred to as Creole. “It’s all Creole,” Link says of those red beans and that crème brûlée, if you open your mind to the complexities of history and global trade, and to the complicated fabric of cultures that have long interwoven in Louisiana and across the Caribbean rim. He’s unsure whether trekking to South America to eat boudin will reinforce or weaken his theories. But he knows he has to go. As a native of Louisiana, called to cook and speak for his place, Link wants to get this right.