Here on the Upper Mississippi it’s May, which means winter is just about over; people are creeping outside and beginning to put things on the grill; and the redolent smoke is floating through the late evening, a sign and seal of the approach of summer. Sometimes these nice Midwestern folk call what they’re doing barbecue; and while they’re good people, that “just ain’t right.” Barbecue is … well, What Barbecue Is happens to be the subject of this podcast.
Once again, the eminence grease of Southern Sociology and Self-Understanding, John Shelton Reed, joins Al Zambone, this time to talk about North Carolina barbecue, the subject of a book he recently coauthored with Dale Volberg Reed and William McKinney. Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue is not only a history and sociology of North Carolina barbecue; it’s not only a set of interviews with some of the foremost practitioners of the art; it’s also got recipes and instructions on how to build your own barbecue pit so that you can cook a whole hog.
We don’t want to brag, but, we have to say it: this is our most delicious podcast yet. And since Reed will soon be coming out with a book surveying the rest of the Southern barbecue scene, he’s sure to be on Historically Thinking again.
For Further Reading and Eating
- John Shelton Reed and Dale Volberg Reed, with William McKinney, Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue
- Reed thinks this review of his book by Bill Kauffman got what the book is all about.
- Allen & Son Bar-B-Q–they don’t have a website, but they have a Yelp page full of happy customers. Don’t even bother to read it. Just go eat there, OK?