After four consecutive Mister Boutefas titles, the fifth edition of this Swiss sausage competition awarded its first-ever Miss Boutefas to Stéphanie Ogiz of Boucherie Ogiz in Yverdon-les-Bains.
A third-generation butcher, Stéphanie Ogiz and her husband Selver, took over the business from her parents, Jean-Claude and Jocelyne Ogiz, in 2018. Under their new leadership, the couple decided to enter the Nuit du Boutefas competition for the first time this year. It turned out to be a very successful decision!
What is Boutefas?
Boutefas comes from the Swiss canton of Vaud. This smoked pork sausage has a fat, somewhat segmented and asymmetrical shape due to its natural casing—a pouch known as the cecum (or caecum). Butchers stuff this sack with raw pork meat, bacon, salt and spices. Its contents are generally identical to the famous Saucisson Vaudois, except for the casing. Unlike most sausages, which are sealed at both ends, the Boutefas has only one opening tied up with a string.
Only butchers in Vaud produce the Boutefas. Each has their own secret recipe. It’s nearly, if not impossible to find the Boutefas for sale at butchers or markets in other regions of Switzerland.
Boutefas can range in size from about 600 grams to 3 kilograms (about 1.3 to 6.6 lbs.). You cook it low and slow — at a temperature around 70-75°C (158-167°F) for about 2 hours or longer, depending on the size of the sausage. Once cooked, it can be served either cold or hot.
What is the Nuit du Boutefas?
Slow Food Vaud hosts this annual competition to identify the butcher who makes the best Boutefas. First, a jury selects the finalists from all the butchers who entered the competition. I had the honor of serving as a member of the jury this year, which involved judging 20 different Boutefas to determine the five finalists. We evaluated the sausages in terms of their appearance, texture and taste.
After we tasted all the Boutefas, the following finalists were chosen:
- Boucherie à la Ferme Martin Georges et fils – Puidoux
- Boucherie Ogiz SA – Yverdon-les-Bains
- Boucherie Wyler – Lucens
- Boucherie-Charcuterie de la Venoge – Cossonay
- Boucherie-Charcuterie Stuby – Vevey
With the finalists selected, the public votes to pick the new Mister or Miss Boutefas during the main event, known as the Nuit du Boutefas. For 2019, it was held at the Salle des Fêtes de l’Abbaye de Montheron in early May. Everyone in attendance had the opportunity to try a slice of Boutefas from each of the five finalists and vote for their favorite. In all, approximately 130 people cast their vote, with Stéphanie Ogiz selected as this year’s winner.
How does it feel to be Miss Boutefas?
Stéphanie Ogiz’s family has been making Boutefas for three generations, starting with her grandfather when he opened his butcher shop in the 1950s. For her, Boutefas is an important part of the culinary heritage of Vaud. She described her new title of Miss Boutefas as a “grand honneur” (a great honor).
When I asked Miss Boutefas 2019 why she likes being a butcher, her immediate response was, “It’s in my genes.” She also told me that her job gives her a real sense of satisfaction — to make something that she can share with her customers that’s part of their daily lives. When she sells someone a Boutefas, they can ask her questions face to face — like I did, about how best to cook it and how to serve it. You can tell that this connection with her customers is important to her, and she takes great pride in her work.
Since winning the competition, she and her husband both said they have seen growth in the demand for the Boutefas. This has required them to increase their production to about 250 sausages per month.
Where can you buy a prize-winning Boutefas?
You will find Boucherie Ogiz at the famers’ market in Yverdon-les-Bains on Tuesdays, and in Lausanne on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Place de la Riponne. While they do not have a retail shop, you can pick up a Boutefas at their production site in Yverdon-les-Bains, if you contact them in advance.
Boucherie Ogiz, Rue des Uttins 36, 1400 Yverdon-les-Bains
+41 024 447 40 40, firstname.lastname@example.org