Theres lots of bragging and bluster in barbecue, but theres only one truth. Pit-style barbecue started here hundreds of years ago on St. Helena Island when the Native Americans taught the Spanish settlers how to cook their hogs in a pit. It seems the Spanish liked it, as its still here and tasty as everjust waiting for you to dig in at any one of the authentic barbecue places all across South Carolina.
In SC, we dont take the word barbecue lightly, which is why we never call grilling a hotdog or burger barbecuing.
Barbecue is not a tidy affairIts big, smoky, messy and altogether awesome to behold. If you get a chance, poke your nose into the back where the real business goes downyou just might catch a glimpse of a pitmaster, perfecting his craft and loving every minute of it.
While you can get barbecued chicken and beef in various forms, pulled pork is the undeniable original South Carolina barbecue.
While a lot of places stick to one kind of sauce and call it a day, South Carolina offers up four distinct barbecue sauces. The tangy mustard-style sauce, developed by German settlers in the Midlands, is most associated with South Carolina, but you cant go wrong with any one.
Most popular in the Midlands, the mustard and vinegar based sauce offers a lovely, tangy bite thats perfectly suited for pork.
This thick sauce is all about smoky sweetness and is popular in western SC. Broadly appealing, this is the sauce youre most likely to find in the grocery store.
Commonly used in the Pee Dee region of SC, this sauce is composed of vinegar, pepper and ketchup for a hint of sweetness.
Popular along the SC coast and thought to be the oldest sauce in SC, this red vinegar sauce adds a nice amount of heat and works magic on pork.
Seeing how South Carolina is The Birthplace of Barbecue, its practically become an art form here. In fact, one of our own pitmasters, Rodney Scott, recently took the James Beard Award for Best Chef, Southeast. Its only the second time the award has gone to a barbecue chef and the first time ever that an African-American won the Southeast. Yes, Rodneys barbecue truly rocks.
Learn more about the beginnings of barbecue in America, read up on the four official sauces and download a SC barbecue trail map at SCBBQTrail.com
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