If you ever wanted to know why the North invaded the South in 1861, it is simple. They wanted Bar-B-Que. You can't get it anywhere else. Why do you think they started in South Carolina?
Bar-B-Que in the south is a religious experience. If you are from here, I am not telling you anything new - in fact I'm preaching to the choir. The only question is to which god do you pray: the god of mustard base - that yellow tangy sauce with a slight sweet background or ketchup based - the red sweet flowing goodness with only the slightest taste of tang or (in my humble opinion) the premier - vinegar based -that thin nectar of tang filled with peppers and other spices and just enough mustard to give it some color.
Whatever your sauce of choice, here the only meat is pork. and that pork must be slow cooked over hickory wood to be done right. There are several other signs to look for to ensure you are about to partake in authentic honest-to-God southern Bar-B-Que:
- the establishment is only open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (it takes them Monday to prepare the meat & get the wood ready for the fire, Tuesday and Wednesday to cook and on Sunday they rest)
- the name of the establishment usually has a family name in it
- it has an old tile, linoleum, or concrete floor (if they have spent a lot of money redoing the place - their priorities should be in question)
- the chairs at the tables should not necessarily match and better yet there should be picnic tables
- there should be sweet tea and white bread on each table
- vinyl table cloths only
- beware of places that sport a full buffet - they wandered from their mission (green beans and fried chicken maybe, but even that is suspect - after all you came to eat Bar-B-Que)