|Jim Shahin, Washington Post Barbecue Columnist, on the right with yours truly out and about enjoying a Virginia Barbecue Tour.|
For some reason, the phrase "southern barbecue" was left out of the title of the article. As I point out in my book, the barbecue cooking technique is ancient and no one really knows where it started. I believe that it started in Africa thousands of year ago, but there is no way to make a strong case either way.
In my book I assert that SOUTHERN barbecue was born in Virginia; not barbecue itself. There are many styles of barbecue in the world and even in the United States. In fact, in the first chapter I document the history of the four most popular styles of barbecue in the United States today which are Southern barbecue, California (or Western) barbecue, Backyard barbecue and Kitchen barbecue.
Southern barbecue is the kind of smoky, pull tender, mouthwatering barbecue that you can find all around the southern United States. California barbecue is the kind of barbecue that is most prevalent in California and the southwest where meats are slow cooked buried in a pit or broiled over hot coals such as California tri-tip or Santa Maria-style ribeyes. Backyard barbecue is generally hot dogs and hamburgers and steaks quickly broiled (grilled) on our backyard charcoal grills. Of course, people in the South have a hard time accepting grilling as a form of barbecuing but most areas of the United States today do call grilling in the backyard barbecuing. The fourth style of barbecue I write about isn't really a barbecuing technique either but its popularity has all but removed the stigma of calling it barbecue. People cook Kitchen barbecue inside their homes often using a crock pot. It consists of pulled pork cooked in a crock pot topped with a commercial barbecue sauce. Barbecued potato chips and barbecued beans are also in this category. Though Americans have their own ways of preparing barbecue and definitions of the word vary based upon region, the gold standard for American barbecue is and always has been Southern barbecue.
In my book, I show that Southern barbecue was born in seventeenth-century Virginia citing over 700 primary and secondary sources. So, please keep that in mind when you read titles in articles about my book such as the one in the most recent Washington Post article.
Overall, Jim did a great job of writing the article. He is a much better writer than I and I feel privileged to call him friend.
The Virginia Barbecue Revival is warming up! You can read the Washington Post article by clicking here. Where did barbecue begin? Virginia, he says — and he stands by it
You can read more about Virginia barbecue in my book available at online booksellers and on shelves on September 12, 2016.