Next stop on the Southern BBQ Trail: MISSISSIPPI.
Mississippians joke that the best barbecue in the state can be found in Memphis. True, it’s hard to put a finger on the pulse of Mississippi’s barbecue tradition, if it has one. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t great stories. The late Deke Baskin of Oxford was a celebrated barbecue man. One of his first jobs was washing dishes at a fraternity house on the campus of the University of Mississippi. At the time, there was a fraternity tradition of cooking a whole hog on football weekends when Ole Miss would play Arkansas (their team mascot is a hog), and that’s how Deke learned to barbecue. But Deke also grew up in a community that held large picnics to celebrate holidays and family reunions. A traditional food for these kinds of gatherings in north Mississippi was barbecued goat. Deke recalls in his interview, “Family reunions and, you know, the Fourth of July was a big thing…In the old days we had Blues harmonica, you know, and good times—and the goat. You had to have a goat there.” As Deke became skilled at cooking hogs, he added goat to his repertoire. He operated a series of restaurants in and around Oxford, the last of which closed in 2005. Deke passed away in 2011.
Meet Deke Baskin:
Visit the introduction to our state-by-state Southern BBQ Trail tour here.
Or, just visit the Southern BBQ Trail to meet the more than 100 people from 9 states who've shared their stories with us.
Grab a napkin and go!