For many in South Louisiana, there is absolutely no better way to cook meat than to smoke it – for a long time over low heat. Every June, smoked meat devotees converge in the town of Ville Platte, about 45 minutes northwest of Lafayette, Louisiana, for the Smoked Meat Festival, also known as Le Festival de la Viande Boucanée.
In addition to the various smoked meats offered by festival food vendors, Saturday fest-goers will have the chance to sample entries to the World Championship Smoked Meat Cook-Off. The cook-off, which is open to both amateurs and professionals, includes any dish that incorporates smoked meat. And entries usually run the gamut of meats. You’ll find sausage, tasso, pork, venison, chicken, duck, rabbit, fish and more. The best part is, samples are sold at each competitor’s booth. If you’re up for it, sample them all and judge for yourself. Of course, every competitor has a secret rub recipe. Our not-so-secret ingredient is TABASCO® Sauce! If you don’t see any at the booth counter, just ask. There’s sure to be a bottle nearby.
Even with all the great food, it wouldn’t be a Louisiana festival without music. And the Smoked Meat Festival always has a lineup of popular Cajun and Zydeco performers, along with favorites from other genres. Past entertainers have included The Bellamy Brothers, John Anderson, T.G. Sheppard, Janie Fricke, Percy Sledge, T. Graham Brown, Mel McDaniel, Joe Stampley, B.J. Thomas and Wayne Toups. Other events are usually on offer, too; in past years the festival has featured a variety of pageants, a fighter jet fly-by, games, contests and more.
For more information, visit www.smokedmeatfestival.com.