Porky’s Pulpit: Barbecue “Evolution”

When the Private Equity Beat blog of the Wall Street Journal features a post about barbecue, it’s worth reading.  And they posted a good one toward the end of 2009.  In “Debating Evolution – Barbecue Evolution, That Is,” WSJ blogger Josh Beckerman, who admits he is no dyed-in-the-pig-wool barbecue fundamentalist, nonetheless takes a creationist-worthy stand against the so-called “evolution” of ‘cue. 

What has Beckerman riled up?  This press release entitled “The Barbecue Evolution” that was put out by a large company called Sadler’s.  The press release says, in part: “BBQ isn’t just for backyard parties anymore. Sophisticated barbecue was named a Top 10 Flavor Trend in 2009 by Flavor & The Menu and is predicted to go even more upscale with ethnic and regional flavors in 2010… .”

Beckerman responds to Sadler’s slick press release with fire and brimstone worthy of, well, a BBQ Jew, writing that he has no problem with the concept of mass-produced pit-smoked ‘cue but he’s “not so sure about brisket bow-tie pasta, one of the recipes – along with pulled pork Asian wraps and shaved pork quesadillas – that the company offers to ‘customers who want to experiment with upscale barbecue trends.'”  

He continues his sermon, offering, “Nor do we completely agree that ‘mango salsa or chipotle sauces are ideal compliments to the hardwood flavors of authentic, pit-smoked barbecue meats.’  Although fusion has its place in the world of food, we think barbecue may not be that place.” 

Preach it, Beckerman!

3 Responses

  1. I don’t see anything wrong with taking good ‘cue and adding it to other foods. I mean, can you imagine a Bolognese made with wonderful smoked brisket instead of just plain-old meat?

    I kind of think of it like chili on spaghetti. At first, I thought it was pretty ridiculous until I had a bowl for myslef. The pasta didn’t take away from the chili, but actually added an element of comfort. I think the same can be said of some foods when added to good ‘cue.

    I once made a cuban sandwich with leftover ‘cue and found that the smoky flavor was better than using just plain roast pork.

  2. Nando, I see where you’re coming from and agree with the spirit of what you say. However, some things I just can’t abide and the corporate PR touch of promoting neo-BBQ bothers me. The Barbe-Cuban sandwich does sound good though…

  3. Usually I just skim through these blogs and only read ones that -jump- out at me and yours did. Thanks for it – it is actually a real good read! Do you have a subcribe area so I can link to it to read again another day? Let me know – thanks.


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