Name: Robert F. Moss
Home Base: Charleston, South Carolina
Barbecue Street Cred: Robert is the author of Barbecue: The History of an American Institution (U. of Alabama Press, 2010), the first full-length history of barbecue in the United States. When he's not stuffing himself with pulled pork and hash-and-rice, he also writes restaurant reviews and food-related features for the Charleston City Paper.
Preferred Style of Barbecue: People tend to be loyal to the barbecue style they knew growing up. But over the course of a decade of historical barbecue research, Robert has become something of a regional ecumenicist, savoring the virtue inherent in all of America's great regional styles. "But," he says, "I do have a particular fondness for barbecue from the North Carolina Piedmont, as well as the unique mustard-based sauce of the South Carolina midlands. And that white stuff from Alabama is just weird."
Favorite Barbecue Accoutrements: South Carolina hash-and-rice, hushpuppies, coleslaw (the finely chopped kind), burnt ends from Kansas City—and banana pudding, of course.
Triumphant Barbecue Moment: "A few years ago, my family drove all the way out to Moose's Famous Barbecue in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, which has a very respectable barbecue line-up with everything from pulled pork to thin-sliced brisket. My older son, Bobby, then eight years old, proceeded to put a hurting on the buffet, tucking away three full plates and then following it up with not one but two heaping bowls of Mrs. Moose's pecan banana pudding. We were on the road for three minutes before he fell asleep in the backseat, and he snored all the way home. It was a touching moment: a young pup laid low by barbecue for the first time. If his father's track record is any indication, it won't be the last."
Check back for Robert's weekly dispatches from South Carolina and beyond.