Lots of people are surprised (and even shocked) when they hear that the delicate palate of the French enjoys intestines or chitterlings as well as tripe. The latter has, actually, too many incarnations all over the world. For example, it boils with Chinese spicy meat stews or it is chopped in tacos, or it’s stewed with tomatoes and Pecorino Romano. So, don’t get surprised that the French admire sausages of tripe and that the so-called hand-made Andouillette de Troyes Sausages are a true delicacy.
The town of Troyes lies about 160 km far away from Paris, in the southern corners of the Champagne region. It is particularly acknowledged for the production of pork (sometimes veal) sausages that are 25 mm in diametre, in general, and sometimes they could be even a little bit larger (from 7 to 10 sm in diamtre). These special sausages are made from intestines, chitterlings or tripe, generally mixed with onions, peppers, herbs and of course, with some wine.
These are one of the oldest and most traditional sausages in France. And do you know that even King Louis II (Louis the Stammer) ordered to get such sausages for his Coronation Day in 878? Later Louis XIV (The Sun King) became their fan when he made a stop in Troyes after the battle in Burgundy. Even Napoleon Bonaparte enjoyed their taste in an “imperial way”.
But the most prominent historic fact about the sausages is related to 1560 when the royal troops tried to invade the town and locals ran out of any food provisions and prepared only andouillette. King’s soldiers crossed the ramparts of the town, scattered along the tiny and narrow cobbled streets of the Saint-Denis quarter. All of a sudden they stopped because they were seduced by the scent coming from the nearby tripe houses. Instead of conquering the town they “conquered” these local trattorie. While the soldiers were eating the sausages, locals managed to gather their armies and to win and keep the independence of the town in that unexpected attack.