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Matt Hackler, a product of two East Texans, grew up in Cajun country after his father relocated for a job in the oil industry. At home, his mother cooked typical East Texan white gravies and chicken and dumplings, but also dark-roux gumbos and crawfish étouffée. As youngsters, Matt and his brothers were taught to eat boudin out of its casing, spread on crackers. Following high school, Matt attended college in Minnesota. He then shuttled around other boudin-free cities before returning home to pursue a PhD in the folklore program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. While not Cajun by genetics, he identifies fiercely with the culture in which he was raised and aims to job-hunt on the Gulf Coast when he completes his studies. Matt now eats boudin casing and all.