Friday, July 6, 2012

Origin of barbecue sauce: Is NC style the original?

Food writer Robert Moss of Charleston has a fascinating blog post this morning up on the Southern Foodways Alliance site: Barbecue sauce before the 20th century.

He points out that all the various red and sweet sauces were really a 20th century development and may be have arisen from restaurants. Before that, slowly cooking meat was basted with . . . Well, we'll let you read it.

http://southernfoodways.blogspot.com/2012/07/secret-history-of-barbecue-sauce.html

9 comments:

Joanne said...

Love the SFA!

Jim Pierson said...

I would agree that what we consider barbecue sauces today are mostly 20th century concoctions. These are the ones we fuss over and hopefully the feud won't be replayed again here. [I know, wishful thinking.]

I'm not surprised that earlier bastes and even sauces would be vinegar, salt, and pepper since those were all primary preservatives and anti-microbials in the days before refrigeration.

Butter is a twist I hadn't thought of before though. I'll have to add that to the baste next time and see how it works, especially nowadays with pork that has a lot less fat content than before.

Anonymous said...

Like the Panama Canal; We bought it, we built it, it's ours!

John said...

Interesting timing. History channel was just running an episode of "American Eats" on Barbacue and they credit Kraft with releasing the first tomato based commercial sauce and that most of the home-made sauces had Kraft as it's base.

It makes sense because sweet sauces would've been harder to keep before refrigeration as it makes for an excellent growth media for bacteria as well as mold.

It's easy to forget today, that barbecue was originally a method of food preservation!

John said...

BTW... for all the transplants...

When you say "Barbecue" it has to meet three primary conditions:
Low,
Slow,
Wood smoked.

If it's not all three, it IS NOT "barbecue" it's "grilling".

Anonymous said...

What John said - "barbecue" is a NOUN, not a verb. And the folks in Eastern North Carolina know that all you need is vinegar, salt, and crushed red pepper.

Anonymous said...

John Shelton Reed and his wife covered all this and more in their book as well as the misconceptions between East and West NC bbq.

Plancha Barbecue said...

Nice information for Barbecue sauce...

Rogger Mcloud said...

Oh, I didn't know that there was a secret story. Aniway is should try to make mine own sauce, and then I will tell my secret story. Also I have studied in Argentina a few years, where I learned how to cook the clasic barbecue. They eat barbecue for breakfast. Lol... I am exagerating, but I have been in a few apartments in buenos aires with charcoal grill in the balconys.