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FAQs about Andouille sausage
French Andouille sausage is prepared by using the entire digestive tract of a pig and combining additional ingredients like onions, wine, and seasonings. Traditional Andouille has a much grayer complexion and a distinct odor that separates it from the American version that you'll find populating the aisles of your grocery store. While popular abroad, this type of Andouille sausage is less common in America, which is why you won't typically find yourself accidentally picking it up while shopping.
Instead, the American version of Andouille sausage is made with pork butt (the upper shoulder of the animal) and uses ingredients like garlic, onions, and wine. Additionally, American Andouille sausage undergoes two rounds of smoking: the first round smokes the contents of the sausage and the second round smokes the sausage once it has been fully prepared.
If you are new to the pleasures of Andouille sausage, you may come across products that are advertised as raw Andouille sausage. Because Andouille Sausage is always smoked and sold precooked, you should not be able to find raw Andouille sausage at your local market. Sometimes, certain types of sausage may be advertised as Andouille sausage because it has a similar appearance or flavor profile, or due to a labeling mistake or similar issue. If you do see raw Andouille Sausage being offered at your local market, make sure to ask your butcher about that particular sausage's ingredients and composition. A knowledgeable butcher is also a wonderful resource who can provide guidance on recommendations for the proper preparation for a specific type of sausage, as well as any alternatives you may use for your dish.
Andouille sausage can last as long as two weeks in the refrigerator when it is unopened. Once opened, Andouille sausage is safe to eat for only about one week. If you want to extend the life of your Andouille sausage so that you can use it in future recipes, you can store it in the freezer for approximately one to two months until it needs to be discarded. If you are able to find airtight packaging for your Andouille sausage, you may able to extend its freezer life for up to six months. A frozen food tip: be sure to label your frozen packages with the name of the contents and the date it was put into the freezer so you can easily identify it when the time comes to pull it out and enjoy.