BBQ Events: New South for New Southerners
This comes to us from the Charlotte Observer....
Ain't this a kick in the head? It seems that there's so many "new Southerners" in Charlotte, North Carolina that they are actually teaching barbecue to the newbies. It sounds like an interesting course, but should us "old" New Yorkers be teaching classes on hot dogs or pizza? Fuggetaboutit!
Bone up on barbecue at museum this week
When you live in the South, you don't necessarily have to like eating pork barbecue -- but you should be ready to talk about it.
Among enthusiasts, you'll hear passionate discussions about cooking methods and sauces -- and if you want to fit in, you should have a position on whether you prefer Eastern vs. Western style.
If you're a newbie who still thinks barbecue is what you do to hamburgers and hot dogs, you've got a chance coming up to learn more: Levine Museum of the New South's next "New South for New Southerners" event, coming Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the museum, focuses on the subject.
The headline speaker is the Observer's own Dan Huntley, co-author of the recently published book "Extreme Barbecue."
With his help, I've compiled a primer:
• Is barbecue a noun or verb? It's a noun, referring to pork slow-cooked over indirect heat and chopped, sliced or minced.
• Where did barbecue originate? Most culinary historians say it started in the eastern Carolinas with pirates who brought the cooking technique -- whole pigs over smoky wood fires -- from the Caribbean in the 1600s. "That tradition wafted inland just like hickory smoke," says Huntley.
• Eastern vs. Western vs. South Carolina style: Eastern style has a vinegar-based sauce, usually made with brown sugar, black pepper, salt and other spices. Western style adds a tomato base to the sauce, making it much thicker. And South Carolina has a mustard-based sauce.
• The key to a good sauce? Mixing peppers, such as cayenne, chipotle or white pepper, with sugars, such as apple juice or pineapple juice. "You're balancing the sweet with the heat," says Huntley.
• Want to learn even more? One opportunity coming up is the Lexington Barbecue Festival on Oct. 27. More than 100,000 people attend the annual event in the town about 90 minutes northeast of Charlotte. Details at www.barbecuefestival.com or 336-956-1880.
Or, just come to the Levine on Thursday. The event is $5 and includes appetizers, drinks and access to museum exhibits. Call 704-333-1887 ext. 501 to RSVP. More info: www.museumofthenewsouth.org.
Got a question? 704-358-5058 or Ldyer@charlotteobserver.com