CRAVINGS: National Barbeque Month
By Whitney Long
It’s National Barbeque Month and that means it’s time to celebrate this iconic Southern food and salute the humble hog!
For the southerner, barbeque is more than pit-smoked pork, beef or chicken piled high on a soft bun or slice of white bread… it’s a way of life with ties to our history and culture. It’s a noun and a verb. The rites and rituals associated with barbeque are embraced by all and passed down from generation to generation to insure that this distinctively southern food is never forgotten.
Whether you like yours chopped, pulled, sliced or as a slab, barbeque and the process of cooking it is a cultural food event indigenous to the South. Cuts of meat – usually pork shoulder, ribs or even the whole hog – and sauces – white, red, mustard, vinegar, tomato, spicy, mild, sweet or any range in between as well as the “rub” - serve as the main distinctions from region to region and state to state.
Side dishes also vary. Coleslaw, potato salad, white rice cooked in broth, mac and cheese, baked beans, Brunswick stew, cornbread and pickles are a sampling of traditional choices.
Regardless of locale, the method of cooking always involves time and patience and lots of it. Perhaps this is one of the best things about barbeque… slowing down, sitting down, spinning tales and stories with those we love most – our family,friends and neighbors. It’s when memories are made and traditions are begun. Unlike our Northern counterparts who often view barbeque as throwing hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill, southerners know that this is simply a cook-out. Think of it this way: “BBQ’ing is what’s done when you want your company to stay all day and grilling is what’s done when you want your company to eat and go!”
To learn more about barbeque differences from state to state click here:
If your summer travels take you to any of these locations, check out the barbeque:
Dreamland – Tuscaloosa, AL
Brick Pit – Mobile, AL
Pig-N-Chik – Atlanta area (3 locations)
Southern Soul – St. Simons Island, GA (above photo)
Cozy Corner BBQ – Memphis, TN
Wilber’s Barbeque – Goldsboro, NC
Melvin’s Barbeque – Mt. Pleasant and James Island, SC
98 Barbeque – Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Rose’s Bar-B-Q – Hattiesburg, MS
The Joint – New Orleans, LA
Check out our archives for a New Year’s Day Celebration featuring a recipe from Southern Soul BBQ for Southern C followers: