A nifty essay here by the author of "Smokestack Lightning" Why Barbecue Doesn’t Travel Well - Bloomberg
I never thought I’d say this, but I miss Arthur Bryant
’s original barbecue sauce.
His Kansas City smokehouse, which was made famous decades ago in a Calvin Trillin essay
, served a sauce that’s been described as a mixture of Comet and ketchup. That description isn’t far off. The sauce’s gritty texture negates whatever pleasant flavors its ketchup-like ingredients might offer. By the standards of traditional sweet barbecue sauces, it’s a bitter abomination. But when it comes to personal aesthetic statements, Bryant’s sauce is without peer. It represents a throwing down of the gauntlet; a simple, unwavering declaration: “This is the sauce we serve. Take it or leave it.” Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q
in Decatur, Alabama
, takes a similar approach. Its mayonnaise-based white barbecue sauce is a shocking sight when slathered on smoked chicken. But it’s their sauce, and they stick with it.
In our barbecue epoch, the personal and the unwavering are sorely missing.
Barbecue has rapidly spread from the great Southern smokehouses of its birth all the way to such once-primitive backwaters as New York
. Even in Midwestern and West Coast cities where barbecue was introduced during the great black migrations
of the 20th century, there is a resurgence of interest.
<message edited by 1bbqboy on Fri, 08/30/13 8:35 PM>