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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to annemarie@southernfoodways.org.

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ORAL HISTORY

Bayou Boudin & Cracklin’


Rocky Sonnier might not have had cultural preservation in mind when he and his wife, Lisa, began building Bayou Boudin & Cracklin’ and Bayou Cabins bed and breakfast in 1987. Today, however, the compound, which edges along Bayou Teche, is a virtual living history museum. Many of the cabins for rent have had multiple lives—as washhouses or residences—and at least one is insulated naturally with bousillage, a mixture of mud and Spanish moss formerly used in traditional Cajun homes.

As guests wake up and take their places in the store, waiting for scrambled eggs or beignets fried in hog lard, a constant stream of local customers fills Bayou Boudin & Cracklin’ to buy a bag of cracklings and a link or two of boudin en route to work. Some of these locals address Rocky in a cheery Cajun-French dialect; others chat with him about the region’s Cajun music, one of Rocky’s passions, as evidenced by the paraphernalia crowding the store’s walls. The Sonniers and their staff make three kinds of boudin: a traditional Cajun pork boudin, a white bean and tasso boudin, and a seafood boudin with crawfish, shrimp, and crab. As Rocky says, “That’s some fine eating stuff.”

Date of interview:
2007-09-09

Interviewer:
Sara Roahen

Photographer:
Sara Roahen

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