The 4th of July is the quintessential American holiday. Rightly so, no food is more emblematic of that holiday than good ol’ American barbecue. The arguments about everything from it’s history to sauce vs. rub can get as hot as a hickory-fueled Texas barbecue pit. Even the word has inspired etymological stories, which we thought was neat, actually. How do you define BBQ? Where do you start? To be sure, you can safely assume that each source will give a history that looks upon their region or specialty favorably.
For example, the South Carolina Barbecue Association (yep, they’re real!) paints a pork-centric, South Carolina-heavy history of ‘cue, claiming that South Carolina is the home to all four types of major BBQ sauces (Vinegar and Pepper, Mustard, Light Tomato and Heavy Tomato), while other states and regions focus on just one or two. For BBQ in general, types of overall preparation and cooking are normally divided into four distinct regions: Memphis, Carolinas, Texas and Kansas City. Each region employs its own prep, methods and history, and the debate over which is best is one we would be happy to have every week. Just give us unlimited access to the food and some loose fitting clothes, and we’ll be okay!