What is worth waiting for! Finally, almost a year later, here comes the post of our last day in France...
Early in the morning we drove into Vouvray, where we had an appointment with Hardouin at 9:30 am. Maître Philippe & Filles obtains loose pâtés, jambon blanc, blood sausages, andouillettes, etc. from Charcuterie Hardouin.
Virginie Morand, the assistante commerciale charcuterie, greeted us warmly and invited us into her office. After a brief introduction to the company's history, we would be taken through the entire production process, she said. The Hardouin company has existed for a century and was then run by Amédée Guillon, a butcher of the very best reputation. At the time, André Hardouin senior was head chef at Monsieur Guillon. After Guillon's death in 1936, Hardouin Sr. took over the company and carried on the tradition. The sausage products, especially the andouillette, quickly became known throughout the region. It is said that Hardouin was Francois Mitterand's favorite butcher. In the mid-1950s, the two sons, Jacques and André junior, joined the company and continued to expand it, e.g. B. around the catering area. Unfortunately none of the Hardouin brothers' children were willing to continue the family business and so in 2003 the business was finally taken over by Julien Garnier, a young local entrepreneur. Production will continue to be managed by the responsible employees, some of whom have worked for Hardouin for over 20 years. Julien Garnier, together with Virginie Morand, is carefully modernizing the company, especially in terms of appearance, in order to appeal to younger customers.
In addition to classic charcuterie, Hardouin's second mainstay is the catering business. Everything you need for this is made in-house - not just the sausage and meat products - but also the pasta such as bread, noodles, etc. Our tour began with the delivery of the goods. Only French meat, mostly from the region, is used. Each type of meat is stored in its own cold store, as required by hygiene regulations.
First we saw the production of Hardouin's most important product - the Andouillette. The andouillette is an offal sausage made exclusively from pig intestines and stomachs and is extremely complex to produce. First of all, the intestines are soaked in a water-vinegar mixture for a long time and then washed in a kind of washing machine again only in water and vinegar until they are absolutely clean, then they are degreased (that is, all the fat is removed by hand) and cut lengthwise into long thin strands. They are then wrapped around a large rope (see photo), which is why they are also called andouillette à la corde (andouillette on a rope). When the intestines are wrapped together with the tripe into a thick sausage, an intestine is put over it and then it's off to the kitchen, where the andouillettes are cooked in a wine-vegetable broth for about 4 hours. The cooking loss is enormous - it is approx. 70%. Andouillettes are produced at Hardouin every day. Andouillettes aren't exactly ac's taste, so she was particularly looking forward to producing the next product, blood sausages!
The production of the blood sausages was specially waited for us. The black pudding consists of one third onions, one third firm pork fat and one third fresh pork blood. The whole thing is then rounded off with spices and crème fraîche. First, all the ingredients except for the blood are sweated together in a large cauldron. The two buckets of fresh pig's blood are already ready, are poured in, everything is mixed and then it can start: with the help of a funnel, the mixture is filled into natural casings, which the master butcher twists with a practiced hand when the sausage has reached the right length. At the end, the blood sausages are cooked for almost 10 minutes - that's it. Incidentally, pig's blood is an extremely delicate ingredient. It must always be absolutely fresh, which is why blood sausages are never produced after public holidays or after the weekend, otherwise the blood would not be fresh enough.
After visiting the production sites, we drove into Vouvray with Virginie to visit one of the shops before continuing on to Tours to have lunch with Virginie and Lucien in the lunchtime bistro run by Hardouin, where you can find all the good "smuts" as well as some other specialties from the region. tv ate stuffed pig feet and was happy. Sated we said goodbye to Virginie. Lucien accompanied us to the city center of Tours, gave us some sightseeing tips and showed us the covered market hall of Tours, where Hardouin is also represented. We thank Virginie and Lucien for this interesting and very pleasant afternoon!