ANDOUILLE IN HONG KONG
Henry Diddy Jacob
The popular belief that people in Hong Kong eat only Chop Suey and Chow
Mein is not completely true.
Somewhere in that populous city someone eats andouille made by
Henry "Diddy" Jacob.
Hong Kong is only one of the many cities worldwide with the
distinction of being a patron of N. Jacobs General Merchandise Store in LaPlace.
It all began 47 years and about 600 tons, 1,200,000 pounds of
andouille ago when the late Nelson Jacob acquired Alexanders Grocery and Saloon. It
was then he began making and selling andouille along with other "staple" goods.
"To my knowledge we were first in this area to make
andouille commercially," Diddy says proudly. "My father (Nelson Jacob) taught me
how to make the sausage longer ago than I can even remember.
Since 1925 andouille has been made on the premises (which in 1947
was moved into the old Maurins Home Staple Store) one to three times a week. Add
that to the number of pounds per mixture - 500 to 800 - and you can see that 600 tons is a
Diddy admits that there is little difference in the andouille
made commercially. He uses fresh, lean Boston Butt pork, red pepper, black pepper, salt
and garlic and, no, hes not saying how much.
"I have to protect my interests, just as you could have this
story copyrighted," Diddy said.
"But Ive never done that and I dont intend to do
it now," we assured him.
"Well then, Ill never have one of my andouilles
copyrighted," he replied, "You understand?"
Everyone knows that peculiarities and the little differences make
a good thing great.
"I smoke my andouille with aged pecan wood," Diddy
says, "and add sugar cane, molasses or corn cobs to the fire to give it a sweeter and
more mellow taste and color."
"Another difference is starting the fire with wood chips -
starter fluids give the sausage a bad taste."
"I like to smoke the sausage very slowly - 8 to 14 hours,
depending on the size of the batch.
Anything done that naturally and slowly has to be good.
Two smokehouses, each with a 650-pound capacity are in the back
of the store and we can guarantee that they have seen more sausage than
Diddy is especially proud that Roussels Restaurant is a
client of his, purchasing about 60 one and one-half to three pound links every week and
We suggested that he (Diddy) mail some of his andouille to Red
China for diplomatic reasons. Anything that good has to have universal appeal.
"Heck no," he said, "once they try it how can I
make enough to feed 750,000,000 people. Wed probably have to go to war."
"Yep, thats true," we said, "but just think
- one day we could go into a Chinese restaurant and order sweet and sour andouille,"
and that seemed a sweet note on which to end our talk. ELLIS LUCIA.