Porky’s Pulpit: Take The Pledge

True ‘Cue and its Campaign for Real Barbecue are shaping up nicely.  Learn more at TrueCue.org or dive right in by taking The Pledge at http://truecue.org/the-pledge/

Although BBQ Jews aren’t known for being evangelists, we need you to evangelize about the Campaign for Real Barbecue.  I promise there’s a large tray and an iced tea waiting for you–either in the after life or your local BBQ joint–if you help spread the good word.  And maybe 72 virgins too, who knows.  Happy evangelizing. Shalom!

Porky’s Pulpit: Sweet Dreams on Labor Day

With Labor Day just around the corner, it seems like a good time for a public service announcement: Don’t fall asleep while breaking into your favorite BBQ joint.  Last year, a gentleman in Gates County made that mistake and I’m sure his life is full of regrets.  All my best wishes for a safe, crime-free and restful (but not sleepy) holiday,


Porky’s Pulpit: Top 10 BBQ Joints in U.S.?! Nonsense.

The Huffington Post has a laughably weak top 10 list of barbecue joints.  Read it and weep: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gayot/best-barbecue-restaurants_b_3589080.html

I half expected to see Dickey’s Barbecue Pit rounding out the rankings.  Sheesh.

Porky’s Pulpit: America the Ugly?

A new item for the ever-growing You Can’t Make This Sh*t Up file: Jihawg Ammo is “infused” with pork to intensify the fight against “Islamic terrorists”.  The website of this “clever” business describes the ammo as follows:

“Jihawg Ammo is certified ‘Haraam’ or unclean. According to the belief system of the radical Islamist becoming ‘unclean’ during Jihad will prevent their attaining entrance into heaven. Jihawg Ammo is a natural deterrent to radical and suicidal acts of violence.

Our Porcine Coating… is infused with the highest quality pork product made right here in…the great state of Idaho.

We at Jihawg Ammo hope you will stock up on Jihawg as a natural deterrent to the ever growing threat of radical Islam and Sharia Law…”


Oy vey, where to begin?  I first thought this website was an ingenious piece of satire, a creation of The Onion or some such tongue in cheek, faux-media outlet.  However, as far as I can tell, this is the real deal.  And by real deal I mean idiotic as hell and produced by people with pigs feet for brains.  I sincerely hope the concept is just a joke gone too far, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen someone from Idaho with a sense of humor.  (Ok, that Idaho comment was a joke… I think.)

3XL--Black Jihawg T-Shirt--"Put Some Ham in MoHAMed"With stupid, offensive products like Jihawg Ammo (and racist t-shirts such as the design pictured at left) available for sale, it’s no wonder a small number of people of various backgrounds want to blow us up.  Sheesh.

Maybe I’m overreacting but this one just rubs me the wrong way.  There are more than enough right wing, gun wielding crazies in this country as is.  Perhaps I should be happy some of them will waste their hard-earned money on greasy bullets.

Happy Independence Day, folks, and may your 4th of July celebration be full of joy and free of hate.

Porky’s Pulpit: Ozersky’s “New Barbecue”

If you’d like to read a truly idiotic piece of barbecue writing, and for some reason this blog isn’t meeting your needs, check out Josh Ozersky‘s recent piece in the Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323716304578482970210059326.html?mod=itp

The thesis of Ozersky’s article is that barbecue has “become stagnant and so dogmatic that many pit masters haven’t changed their recipes or routines in decades.”  This premise reveals a startling lack of understanding of what barbecue is and what makes it great–tradition, family recipes refined over generations, simple techniques that render (literally) exquisite meat, distinct regionalism, and so on.

One barbecue luminary dropped me a note pondering whether Ozersky’s piece might be satire.  If so, Jonathan Swift himself would be proud, but I don’t think Ozersky is that, uh, swift.  I could go on about the article but I don’t want to waste my virtual breath.  As Daniel Vaughn (@BBQSnob) put it in a tweet to Ozersky (@OzerskyTV), “You say stagnant and dogmatic, while I say traditional and reverent.”  That sums it up.

Porky’s Pulpit: Kosher ‘Cue Takes NYC by Storm

Porky LeSwine has always been a trend setter.  He is America’s very first blogger to craft his posts while dancing at the intersection of North Carolina-style barbecue and Judaism.  His line of  Swine Swag is unrivaled (and, in fact, so trendy as to be rarely purchased).  He was the first North Carolina barbecue blogger to regularly refer to himself in the third person.  But Porky’s greatest contribution to setting cultural trends to date?  Surely, it is his website.  For sure it is his website that has inspired New York Jews to take to the streets and go wild for… Kosher barbecue?!  Indeed.  Read all about it in the Jewish Press.

Porky’s Pulpit: Taking a Break

Until recently, I updated this site multiple times each week for the past two years (451 posts to date).  Although I still feel like there are many stories to tell about North Carolina barbecue, I’m suffering from what my doctor would call an acute case of Hog Blog Fatigue if only she was better educated (undoubtedly, soon enough HBF will be a diagnosable disorder complete with its own set of prescription remedies).

My love of North Carolina barbecue is as strong as ever–I will love BBQ in sickness and in health, et al.–but I’m going to take a break from writing about it.  I will likely resurface with occasional posts in the not too distant future but I’m giving up on the regular posting dream, at least for now.  Until we meet again, in the absence of new content on my website, enjoy Bob Garner’s new book, re-read Holy Smoke with a highlighter, or head to your local barbecue joint for a plate, tray or sandwich (your choice).

Thanks for reading, everyone.

Porky’s Pulpit: Vote!

Hey North Carolinians, today is primary election day.  Get off your duff, put the smart phone down and drive to your local polling place (heck, catch a bus, bike or walk if you like, just get there).  I try not to mix politics with BBQ, so I’ll refrain from making any statements about who you should vote for or what you should vote AGAINST (ahem). All I’ll say is that our democracy is a pretty damn great system, despite its flaws, so don’t take it for granted. It’s like wood-cooked pork barbecue–take it for granted and it may disappear forever.

Porky’s Pulpit: Barbecued Newt

Newt Gingrich has about as much chance of winning the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination as I have of being named spokesperson for the Kosher Cheese of the Month Club.  Nevertheless, America’s Most Self-Aggrandizing Amphibian is headed to North Carolina to campaign.  Hide your barbecue plates, Tar Heels, unless you want to wash your pork down with a tall glass of unsweetened Newt.

In a wide-ranging interview with WRAL news, Newt proclaimed: “I like barbeque well enough I’m prepared to eat the right barbeque in the east and the right barbeque in the Piedmont. As a Georgian, I think I can lay some claim to barbeque, and so I’m happy to come and eat both kinds.”  A solid answer from the Newtser, assuming the ‘q’ spelling of barbecue is WRAL’s doing and not his.  However, Newt missed an opportunity to push for the environmental benefits of wood-cooked pit barbecue: a step toward homegrown energy independence and less controversial than natural gas given the fracking issue. (It occurs to me that “frack-free” barbecue might be the South’s answer to gluten-free cornbread.)

Certainly Newt’s BBQ credentials are better than his yankee-competitors, Rick “No Google Stock in My Portfolio” Santorum and Mitt “Don’t Call Me Mittens” Romney.  If Newt can avoid a Rick Perry-sized barbecue gaffe, he has a good chance to dominate the Republican primary’s barbecue voting bloc.

Porky’s Pulpit: Happy Eastover, Judeo-Christian Friends

Whether you are among the masses (bad pun) celebrating your savior’s resurrection or those thanking Yahweh for your people being spared a plague, this weekend is a big one for Christians and Jews alike.

Ham has secured its place as the go-to Easter dinner main course for many Christians, but Jews have been slow to adopt the pork shoulder as the Seder yin to ham’s Easter yang.  I would apologize for my people’s stubbornness, but we have a long tradition (as Jesus would attest) and our culinary preferences are antiquated.  Plus, when your holiday commemorates your first born being spared due to lamb blood being smeared on the door post, it’s hard not so celebrate that animal.

Because of the role of the lamb in the Passover story, Passover Seder is the one meal of the year where I can understand why someone might want to eat the barbecue mutton they are fond of in western Kentucky.  As for me, I’m sticking to the traditional chopped pork on matzoh.

In all seriousness, please accept my best wishes for the holiday weekend whatever your faith (or lack thereof).