Monday, June 11

Welcome to the SFA's Summer of Barbecue

We hope your summer plans include plenty of opportunities to eat barbecue. Maybe you've got a favorite local spot, or perhaps you're the type to drive 100 miles out of your way to try a hole-in-the-wall you've never been to before. Either way, this blog is for you.

Or maybe you think that barbecue is overrated. That it's played out. That you enjoy it once in a while, but you're not interested in reading the same, tired barbecue stories that fill the pages of food and travel magazines every summer. This blog is for you.

You're a Texan, a lover of brisket. Or a native of eastern North Carolina, a disciple of vinegar-sauced pulled pork. Or a Alabamian with a taste for the peculiar white sauce endemic to the northern part of that state. This blog is for you.

In 2002, the SFA celebrated barbecue for the first time, capped off by a symposium entitled "Barbecue: Smoke, Sauce, and History." Ten years, later, we're revisiting the iconic Southern food and its associated characters, rituals, and accoutrements. We're honoring the pitmasters who smoke their meat low and slow over real wood. The cooks who assemble the Brunswick stew, the coleslaw, the icebox pies. And the animals themselves: pigs, in particular, and the farmers who raise them.

All summer and into the fall, leading up to our 2012 barbecue symposium, we'll be filling this blog with all the barbecue news (and history) that's fit to print. We've invited a few all-star guest bloggers to join us in this endeavor, and we will introduce you to them in the coming days. We'll unearth deep cuts from our oral history archives. And that's just the beginning.

We will continue to blog about other topics, including the Friday Southern Six-Pack, a reader favorite. And in July, we'll launch the Cornbread Nation 6 Book Club (you've got three weeks to go buy yourself a copy). But most of all, we've got barbecue on the brain, and we want to share it with you. Pull up a seat at the table and get ready. 

Photograph by Denny Culbert.