Durham Becoming a BBQ Mecca?

It’s a bit of hyperbole to refer to Durham as a BBQ mecca, but here it is:  http://durhamnewsservicemainfeed.blogspot.com/2014/04/durham-becoming-bbq-mecca.html?m=1  Yet honestly, when Ed Mitchell’s Que opens (next month, as of last report) Durham will have four True ‘Cue certified wood cooking barbecue joints, which puts the mid-sized city on the BBQ map in a way that was hard to imagine just a few years ago. Durham’s already on the culinary map regionally and nationally, so it’s fitting that the city is starting to show some pride in its barbecue beyond the long-standing but gas-reliant “barbecue” restaurants that long were Durham’s go-tos.

Sure, Durham isn’t quite Lexington, NC, which has easily been the state’s BBQ standard bearer for years, and it’s sure not Austin, TX when it comes to a growing urban BBQ scene, but Durham is a pit-cooked barbecue leader among urban North Carolina communities.  Let’s hope others follow the Bull City’s lead–Raleigh, are you paying attention? Charlotte, are you out there?  Wilmington, do you even care? I could go on…

Alabama Beats NC in BBQ and Basketball?

The North Carolina tourism folks really need to get their sh*t pork together.  First, South Carolina launched a statewide barbecue campaign with accompany billboards, highway maps distributed at visitor’s centers, and a slick website. As if that wasn’t bad enough, now comes word that Alabama–yes, the football state–has a NCAA basketball tournament-inspired BBQ Bracket.

Alabama beating NC to the punch on a basketball tie-in for barbecue?  South Carolina doing more for their highways than NC?  Say it ain’t so.

With all due respect to the people of Alabama–who put white sauce on their barbecue and may well bathe in it too–and to the hash-eaters of South Carolina, this shouldn’t be happening.  North Carolina should be leading the way in barbecue tourism, not lagging far behind.  In the immortal words of Walter Sobchak’s best friend, The Dude, “This aggression will not stand, man.”  Or maybe it will.  At this rate Oregon will be promoting barbecue before North Carolina does.

Not So Complicated

I recently came across a simply great article about Sam Jones, Rodney Scott, cooking pig, friendship, the SFA, tradition, the American South, and a whole lot more.  It’s called, “The Southern Foodways Alliance Wants to Complicate Your Meal.”  Check it out at: http://bittersoutherner.com/southern-foodways-alliance-part-2#.UuBzZtIo6t9

WUNC TV Tonight

Tune in to WUNC-TV tonight at 9:30 p.m. to see an episode of North Carolina Now & Then (a special series celebrating NC Now’s 20th year on air, if I understand correctly) that includes Bob Garner’s first barbecue feature from 1994.  In the episode, Bob Garner visits Lexington, NC to talk about their barbecue traditions.  Should be fun.

Merry Christmacue

I was searching for a feel good barbecue story to share in honor of the holiday when this one popped into my inbox. Divine intervention?  Perhaps.  Either way, it’s a nice story about Inspire Bar-B-Que in Washington, D.C., so check the video out.

Oh, and Inspire appears to be a wood-burning joint, which qualifies as a Christmas miracle in and of itself.  Learn more about the restaurant and its philosophy at http://inspirebbq.com/about.html

Merry Christmas.

Teach the Children Well

I believe the children are the future, teach them well and… they will cook a pig?  That seems to be the plan in Thomasville, where students at New Hope Christian Academy have opened their own business called Butch Cassidy Barbecue (motto: “Barbecue worth stealing”).

Read more about the high school sponsored endeavor at http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20131104/NEWS/311049998 or visit the Butch Cassidy Barbecue website.  Oh, and try not to worry that these kids are cooking with propane, as evidenced in the picture in the Dispatch article.  Hopefully they’ll learn right from wrong by the time they get to college.

A NC Barbecue Primer Video

Here’s a neat new video by Bob Garner and The Pit restaurant: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80m1Od3Gvco.  (You can see the Spanish language version here, if you’d like to replace Bob’s narration with that of a Spanish speaking woman.) The four minute long video gives all the background on NC barbecue that anyone really needs, and will surely make you salivate while you watch.

In addition, there’s a companion video about barbecue sauce, with an emphasis on NC and SC.  This is Bob’s “grad school seminar” companion to his above “NC BBQ 101 lecture”.  It’s an excellent account of BBQ sauce’s variations and history, well worth the nearly 8 minutes.

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