Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Horwitz discovers N.C.'s true religious differences

USAToday live blogger Tony Horwitz is currently dispatching his "Live from ..." reports from the Great State. (You can read his accounts here.) So far he has researched the Lost Colony, seen just how rural (and wide) North Carolina is, and his latest installment (as of noon on May 14, 2008) had him approaching a very contentious subject.


"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."


James C. said...

Glad to see the Reeds that were interviewed for the story understand the differences between Eastern and Lexington styles, and the fiery-but-healthy rivalry that exists between the two regions and their barbecue styles.

Long live Eastern Style 'Cue!

M. Lail said...

Long live 'cue!