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Labor Day Reflections: Barbecuing Southern Style

Negro sitting on bench at side of barbecue stand made of galvanized metal, Corpus Christi, Tx, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Div LC-USF33- 012032-M2

Here’s an appropriate Labor Day reflection on barbecuing from research I did for my book, Hog and Hominy, which is now in print: http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-231-14638-8/hog-and-hominy/webFeatures . In the south, no barbecue was considered done unless the meat was “saturated with blistering sauces.” Cooks repeatedly basted the barbecuing meat, whether it be pork or beef ribs,chicken, or sausage for hours until it was a “aromatic brown,” with a “mixture of vinegar, mustard, catsup, Worchester sauce, olive oil, Tabasco sauce, lemon juice and whole red peppers in great quantity. The sauce [was] boiled for three minutes after mixture before being applied to the meat [sic].” (America Eats Project, WPA State Records, Alabama 1930s). Good barbecue in short is meat cooked slowly and frequently basted. For flavor some suggest adding hickory chips to your coals.

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