"All across North Carolina, there are roadside signs depicting very big men clutching very big pigs. This state may be a Baptist stronghold, but its true religion is barbecue," writes Horwitz.
"There are other food cults in the South, like chili in Texas," says John Shelton Reed, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina. "But barbecue has the most sects, and fundamentalists." ...
We tuck into moist piles of pulled pork, seasoned the eastern North Carolina way, with a sauce of vinegar and red pepper. Farther west in the state, the sauce has just a touch of tomato. Dale [John Shelton's wife]concedes such differences may seem slight, "but it's heresy if your taste strays from the region you're in." John adds: "Part of barbecue's appeal is that it's so intensely local. It's the closest we have to wine, you drive 100 miles and it changes."