Take A Brief ‘Culinary Tour’ Of All Things Barbecue
What food comes to mind when folks think about taking a culinary tour to sample traditional southern fare? Chances are, barbecue is going to be at (or close) to the top of that list. And while we know that there is so much more to southern food and the local cuisine, we can’t deny that barbecue is a savory, distinctive specialty worthy of the attention it gets.
For local foodies, barbecue is a serious topic that gets a lot of discussion around the grill, too. There are the chefs, critics and culinary experts that will argue about the best varieties, and then the folks who don’t know what makes the difference between grilling and a traditional barbecue recipe.
So, with Labor Day weekend just past, we want to take a ‘culinary tour’ through all things barbecue. Whether you’re planning to make your own with one last cookout of the season, or book trips out to try all of the best, we invite you to check out this list of what every aspiring foodie and satisfied diner must-know about barbecue.
A culinary tour of what you need to know to enjoy a good barbecue
- Grilling vs. BBQ: In general, barbecue is slow-cooked inside a grill or smoker with the lid closed. Leaving the lid of the grill open, so that the meat cooks on each side, is what we call grilling.
- Barbecue vs. barbracot vs. BBQ: Whatever you prefer to call it, the cooking style was introduced to the United States in the Carolinas in the 17th century, which gives it a long term cultural legacy both the state and the region. (The word “barbecue” actually comes from the Arawak-Carib word barbracot.)
- North and South Carolina both have their own distinctive barbecue style, and there are even variations by area within each state. In North Carolina you’ve got Lexington-style, which is traditionally pork shoulder or ribs, and Eastern-style, which uses the whole pig. Both recipes call for the meat to be brushed with a spice and vinegar mixture, and takes a tomato-based sauce. South Carolina is similar but not the same, and has a mustard, brown sugar, and vinegar based recipe depending on whether you’re in the central, western, or eastern part of the state.
- Tennessee barbecue is generally known for the Nashville-style recipe, which is usually a pulled pork or pork rib, seasoned with a dry rub that contains paprika, garlic, and other spices, and served with a thin, tangy, tomato based sauce. Nashville BBQ is also cooked in a pit.
- Kansas barbecue isn’t exclusively pork, but also makes use of beef and chicken. The most famous Kansas City-styles are covered in a thick molasses and tomato sauce, and the meat is cooked slowly at low temperatures. When you think of burnt ends (the end cut of brisket), that’s Kansas City barbecue.
- Texas has a Central and Eastern style. Central Texas barbecue is smoked over pecan or oak wood, and is generally a cut of brisket or ribs. Sauce is served on the side. Eastern style is generally chopped barbecue served on a sandwich with a ton of hot sauce.
- Alabama barbecue, which some say is a mixture of other styles of chopped pulled pork or chicken barbecue sandwiches, gets a shout out here for its distinctive white sauce. You’ll find vinegar and tomato based sauces here, but in Alabama you’ll also find a white sauce made of vinegar and mayo.
Ready to learn more about how to experience the best culinary tours in Charleston South Carolina? We invite you to visit the website to learn more, then reach out to us directly with any questions. Whether you’re hungry for an authentic farm-to-table experience, are interested in spending some quality time in Charleston’s best bars, or just looking to get a taste of the most exciting cuisine in the city, we have the culinary tour for you.