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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.


Kevin Downs

The Sausage Link

When you look at the way his family ate while he was growing up in Sulphur, it begins to look as though Kevin Downs was predestined to enter the meat business. His was a hunting family. Kevin’s favorite memory of his mother’s cooking: deer roast and gravy with butter beans and sausage on the side. Also, his grandfather raised, and then killed, roughly four hogs a year for the family’s sustenance—they would make cracklings and boudin, among other dishes, after each slaughter. Then, as a young man, Kevin became the market manager at Misse’s Grocery in Sulphur. While Misse’s is still in business, it no longer specializes in boudin. Ten years after he started working there, Kevin bought Misse’s boudin-making equipment, which he uses to make The Sausage Link’s liver-free boudin with long-grain rice and high-quality hog casings that snap when you bite into them. Kevin’s boudin comes mild, hot, or smoked; battered and fried in balls, or battered and fried in burgers. The Sausage Link is also a meat market and deli. Customers bring in their freshly killed deer for processing, and they stop by to pick up stuffed pork chops or seafood gumbo for dinner.

Date of interview:
2007-09-10 00:00

Sara Roahen

Sara Roahen

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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