If there’s a single dish that exemplifies American food it is barbecue. Of course many cultures smoke meat but I’m not sure there are any that take it as seriously and make it a source of controversy like Americans do, especially although not exclusively in the South.
But as with any controversy there are lots of myths surrounding barbecue. Tasting Table has a nice article exploding some of those myths.
Two points stand out:
The excellence is in the effort, rather than a hush-hush spice blend.
It’s all about taking the time and cooking slowly over low heat. And:
If people leave your restaurant talking about how good your sauce is, you failed…Taste the flavor of the meat before you put anything on it. Taste the time and energy that went into it.
Good barbecue doesn’t even need sauce.
And let me end the controversies right here. The best style of barbecue is East Carolina whole hog with vinegar and pepper.
And I just happen to be within shouting distance of East Carolina.