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!

Swine Flu in Your ‘Cue? Delicious!

If a newspaper called the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer is to be believed, there is no risk of contracting swine flu from eating barbecue or other pig meat. If you don’t trust anything claimed by papers with the word “Enquirer” in the title, then maybe you’ll trust this article from the Los Angeles Times.  If you don’t trust anything from L.A. either (or if you just noticed that the Los Angeles Times ran that same Ledger-Enquirer story), well, we don’t blame you for that.  Nonetheless, it does appear that pork is safe to eat even if the pig it came from had a 105 degree fever and was vomiting a few days before he landed, chopped and sauced, on your plate.  Does that make you hungry for a plate of swine flu ‘cue?

Happy Meat Week

Happy Meat Week everyone!  Meat Week is one of the greatest ideas ever–ranking right up there with cooking whole hog over coals and the invention of vinegar–but the only North Carolina chapter is in Charlotte.  Obviously folks need to step up and start other NC chapters by next year.  Who’s going to take on this awesome responsibility? I call not it… but I will be happy to participate.