There has been a heated debate for many years across the state of North Carolina between the East and the West. From the coastal plains of the East to Smoky Mountains of the West, these two sides of the state have roasted, pulled, and sauced their arguments to perfection and have built up quite a following.
What has caused such conflict in the otherwise harmonious state of North Carolina? Barbecue.
Both sides agree on some details. The meat must be pork, and it should be cooked slowly over a long period of time with an open flame in a Pit. Hell, even both sides can agree that we all enjoy a good pig pickin’. However, this is where the differences end.
Once the meat comes out of the pit, what parts are you eating? Are you eating everything but the squeal over in the East, or maybe you’re just serving the shoulder out West?
And, a better question, what are you putting on it? Down East, they douse their meat in a vinegar-based sauce, doctored up with heavy spices. What these spices are will vary on location, but you can bet they will knock your socks off and leave your mouth watering. Western, or Lexington-style, barbecue adds a small amount of tomato paste or ketchup to the traditional eastern base. These sauce recipes are considered top secret among families and often serve as bragging rights in competitions and cook-offs.
Another major difference between the two competing cardinal directions are the side dishes served alongside the pig. Take coleslaw for example. This traditional dish has evolved into a side dish staple, with each side developing their own unique style to go along with their own unique barbecues. Eastern style is mixed with mayonnaise or whipped salad dressing. Western style, also called “Red Slaw” or “Barbecue Slaw,” is mixed with the western barbecue sauces.
Hushpuppies come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from sweet to salty, depending on the Pit Master who whips them up. Other sides, such as boiled potatoes, baked beans, potato salad, fried okra, and crackling, are something else generally agreed upon. But, don’t argue with someone when they tell you their grandma’s “nanner pudding” is the best. We already have a barbecue tiff, we can’t all argue about banana pudding as well.
Regardless of which side of the state your taste buds fall, everyone can admit it is an important aspect of our North Carolina culture. Whether it’s featured as a main staple at celebrations, the focal point of festivals, or as the Carolina Hurricane’s team mascot, you can’t get away from pig in North Carolina.
Tell us, which one would pick – Eastern or Western? Can’t decide? Check out the North Carolina Barbecue Trail and try all of the incredible representations of the best food we have to offer.
About Rod Warner.
Rod Warner is a full-time sales associate of the Fonville Morisey Realty Brier Creek office.
Rod is a member of the Raleigh Association of REALTORS®, the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, and the National Association of REALTORS®.
Fonville Morisey Realty has 11 sales offices, with over 850 associates and employees throughout the Greater Triangle region. FM offers mortgage, insurance, property management, title services, real estate education courses and relocation services through its divisions and partners. For more information about Fonville Morisey Realty, visit www.fmrealty.com.