Summer is upon us, dear readers, and nothing says summertime like an old-fashioned barbecue. Barbecue has a rich and long history that has transcended from the creation of the first colonies in the past to the Fourth of July tradition that is near and dear to our hearts.
Gone with the Pork in Georgia
Let’s fast forward a bit to Georgia and before the time of the Civil War. It was one of the southern colonies with an economy that was dependent on agriculture and the entire territory was considered less economically prosperous than the northern territories but were fiercely proud of their heritage and way of living.
According to the Smithsonian Magazine, “cattle was considered a high maintenance source of meat and required substantial amounts of feed.” Pigs, however, lived wild in the area and were cheaper to farm. So, the traditional barbecue of the Deep South became based around pork, specifically pork shoulder. Over time barbecue became part and parcel of Southern Pride, and is one of the very few subject matters that everyone; whether they are black or white, rich or poor, young or old, liberal or conservative, in the Deep South can agree on these days.
Southern Barbecue – Georgia Style
There are a few distinctions between this version of barbecue in comparison to others. For starters, I mentioned earlier that Georgia did pork shoulder for their barbecue.
- First, where other states like Virginia and North Carolina cooked the whole pig or Texas cooked brisket (I will cover those in the next few articles), they ONLY used the pork shoulder.
- The second distinction was the use of rubs. Rubs are a combination of spices that are applied to the meat after the meat has been rubbed with something wet, like mustard to make it stick. These rubs vary from family recipe to family recipe, and you are never going to get an exact style so that when you just blend the spices in your spice cabinet that complement each other in taste.
- The third is that you use some form of mop sauce, while the shoulder is cooking. Mop sauce is a thin sauce that serves to keep the meat moist and tender during the ‘low and slow’ cooking process. Usually, there is some sort of alcohol involved or a vinegar mix to break down some of the proteins and add to the flavor of the shoulder.
The more in-depth recipe can be found by the wonderful blogger The Orgasmic Chef
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