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From Virginia to Hawaii: Dandoodle

Dandoodle Sausage, served with a deviled egg, boiled cabbage, potato, yams and beets

“What on earth is Dandoodle?” you might ask. I had the same question when a family friend named Yates, who lives all the way on the east coast in the state of Virginia came visiting, and said that’s what he was cooking us for dinner.

Dandoodle, also known as “Tom Thumb” is a sausage made by stuffing ground pork shoulder, sage, red pepper, and salt and pepper into the uppermost part of the pig’s large intestine. This gives Dandoodle a unique oval shape that’s quite larger in girth than sausages that use standard casings. They’re usually either smoked or dry-cured; the one he brought for us was dry-cured. It’s a delicacy that can mostly only be purchased from small butcher shops around Virginia and the Carolinas, says Yates.

It’s considered southern food, and is often served with cabbage or collard greens, yams, potatoes, beets, and most importantly, deviled egg. The deviled egg really is the key accompaniment, as the sweet-pickled yolk and boiled egg white really enhances the flavor of the sausage, which has strong, pungent, peppery sage flavoring to it.

I’d say Dandoodle is something you’d either love or hate. Again, the sage and the red pepper really do punch out, and the pig stomach casing does have you thinking there’s indeed “something” different about it, in an innards kind of way.

Do I like it? Heck yeah! I love it! But it’s gotta’ have all those sides in order to taste right. I couldn’t eat Dandoodle as a snack by itself. It needs the sweet contrast of the yams, beets and deviled egg to really shine. And when you eat it together with those things, it’s just fantastic!

So that first plate shown was prepared for us by Yates on his visit to Hawaii last year. This year he brought the same TYPE of sausage (same filling), but just not stuffed in the pig’s intestine. The ones he brought this year were stuffed in standard casings. So he gave me a bag to take home, and I finally got around to preparing them. Check it out…

Dandoodle “knock offs”

I attempted to duplicate the same presentation Yate’s did for us last year. The only difference is that I used Bak Choi cabbage instead of round cabbage. Hey, that Bak Choi was fantastic with this dish! The slightly more pungent flavor married well with the spicy sausages. I found that they didn’t salt these enough though, so I had to add my own, which was no biggy. After that, they were great! He instructed me to boil them for about 15 minutes with the other veggies, then brown them in oil in the fying pan, so that’s what I did. Then sliced ’em in half for plating presentation as shown above. Gotta’ admit, that does look pretty! And how did it taste? Awesome!

He said you can serve these breakfast style with eggs, but nah, I much prefer it with these accompaniments.

For the deviled egg, I hard boiled the eggs, then cut them in half, took the yolks out, and mashed them together with sweet pickle relish, mayonnaise, spicy brown mustard, minced onion and parsley, then filled the halved egg white back up with the “deviled” filling. I tell ya’, this is such a winner with the sausage. I think with ANY sausage, you should have a deviled egg with it. Pure genius.

Here’s how these “Dandoodle Knock-offs” look uncooked…

I know what you’re thinking, and no, this isn’t going to win any culinary beauty contest anytime soon. lol Main thing is they TASTE good!

Here in this (uncooked) cross-cut view, you can see the specks of red pepper flakes…

Here’s another angle of the finished plate…

I highly doubt you’ll find Dandoodle in any stores in Hawaii, or anywhere else in the US for that matter, besides Virginia and the Carolinas region. Still, I’d recommend using these same accompaniments with other types of savory, spicy sausages you CAN buy here at various markets. Especially those that have plenty of herbs and spices in them.

So next time you hear the name “Dandoodle”, you’ll know what that is. Big Mahalo to Yates for bringing these all the way over to Hawaii for us!

Related links:
The Best Dandoodle in the World


8 thoughts on “From Virginia to Hawaii: Dandoodle

  • June 4, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    Here in Daly City CA. Safeway is selling Pineapple Sausages. It new not sure Hawaii got it too.

  • June 5, 2008 at 5:30 am

    I love to travel and regional cuisine like this is one of the reasons! I’ve been to Virginia but never tried a dandoodle. However, if I ever go back I’ll be sure to look for it. I just enjoy saying “dandoodle.”

  • June 5, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    Hi Kat. As always, it’s good!

    Vickie, I’m not too surprised to hear there’s a Pineapple sausage. After, that IS a great accompaniment with pork… errr…. ham!

    Jenny, yeah, “Dandoodle” is quite a “doodle” of a name! Repeat 10 times, “Dandoodle, dandoodle, dandoodle…. lol

  • July 18, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    Take a few tips from a native of South “HAM”pton county Virginia where my family made them from scratch. This is really good with fresh greens such as kale or hanover greens. It is great with navy or great northern beans. Served with biscuts, it makes a one dish meal. Leftover slices can be served in a biscut for lunch or along side scrambled eggs for breakfast. Don’t waste a crumb of it!

  • April 22, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Yes..You are abosolutely right…I grew up in Southampton Co…My grandmother and great-grandmother used to cook them with greens and you would fight for the last piece….Truly a tradition

  • November 5, 2009 at 8:37 am

    Grew up in Isle of Wight Va. (home of the Smithfield Ham) and grew up eating dandoodles. We threw them in a pot of greens (kate, salad-Hanover, or Collards.) You would fish out the ‘doodle and slice it and serve on the side with the greens. The “potlikker” was served with cornbread almost like a soup.
    The best commecial brand dandoodle I think is Ducks, from Southampton Co.
    We made our own, smoked in the smoke house. Delish!!


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