Published January 1, 2010. From Cook's Illustrated.
Not surprisingly, the winner hails from Louisiana—birthplace of this spicy sausage.
Traditional andouille (pronounced an-DOO-ee) sausage from Louisiana is made from ground pork, salt, garlic, and seasoned with plenty of black pepper, then slowly smoked over pecan wood and sugarcane for up to 14 hours. Used in a wide range of Louisiana dishes, such as gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans and rice, it bolsters any dish with intense smoky, spicy, earthy flavor. We tasted four brands, looking for the right combination of smokiness and heat with a traditionally chewy but dry texture. Not surprisingly, a sausage straight from Louisiana won the day.