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The Classic Regional Barbecue Sauce Recipes

"Barbecue is 99% perspiration and 1% sauce." Vince Staten

The Different Barbecue Sauce Types. There are several regions which have evolved their own unique barbecue and sauce styles, often influenced by the available meats and their ethnic origins. They are not all sweet and red! Their flavors and history are fascinating. They are also the subject of much controversy and villification between regions, each claiming authenticity. Some break down regional styles into microcosms reminiscent of wine appellations, claiming "authenticity" in one state and fraud in another.

In his 1993 book "Why We Eat What We Eat: How Columbus Changed the Way the World Eats", Raymond Sokolov, has a superb essay on authenticity focused on regional styles. Some highlights: "Unfortunately authenticity is as slippery a notion as happiness... Texan chiliheads abhor beans; New Mexicans routinely put them in their version of chili. Similarly, each village along the French Mediterranean coast has its own 'authentic' mixture of fish for its own 'authentic' bouillabaisse. Aren't these really distinct regional variations, each authentic for its town or state? If so, to what size must we whittle down our definition of region...? There is, in fact, no limit to this. In my family people disagree about the authentic way to make dishes handed down from the same older relative." Then he nails it "Publication leads to codification... Cookbooks not only preserve, they overdefine and delimit cooking when they set forth a single version of a dish and, explicitly or implicitly, suggest that other versions are spurious."

Here is an overview, and the articles below have more detail.

Make your own sauces from the recipes above, or buy these excellent examples of the differnt styles.

...more to come (to be notified when new recipes and other articles are published, be sure to subscribe to our free, spam free, email newsletter "Smoke Signals").

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