August 8, 2002 - "Five Generations Of Andouille"

Ask Chef John Folse where he gets his andouille, and he'll direct you to a little store with a big reputation in LaPlace.

Way back in 1928 Nelson Jacob started making andouille, mainly for friends and neighbors in and around St. John the Baptist Parish. Family lore tells us that Nelson was known as "Bragger" Jacob. No reason is given for this nickname, but folks in St. John Parish will tell you that Nelson's andouille is something to brag about. And they know. A fifth generation of Jacob's family is still making andouille.

The store has changed locations. It's now on Airline Highway on the west side of LaPlace, but Bragger's recipe hasn't changed a bit.

"Well, it's the tradition of the family," says store manager Joey Mason. "They've been making it the longest. There the ones who started the whole andouille craze. They brought the recipe over with them, and ever since they got here they've been making andouille."

It takes three days to make a good batch of Jacob's andouille, and the last 12 hours of that are spent smoking over a pecan fire in the smokehouse that Bragger built 74 years ago.

"The older it gets," says Joey," the better it works. You can see the residue right here. It actually makes a natural insulation."

From Hong Kong to Lafitte's Landing, the little smokehouse supplies andouille to the world.