Linkdown: 3/25/15

– The “Elite Ate” of Garden and Gun’s Barbecue Bracket has been posted; in the Mid Atlantic region Skylight Inn has been eliminated by Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge and faces Lexington Barbecue. The rest of the bracket is located here and voting ends Thursday at 10pm

– Speaking of brackets and barbecue, Red Clay Soul’s Georgia BBQ Bracket Challenge is also down to its “Great Eight”

– Last week, Robert Moss took a deeper look at barbecue spaghetti in Memphis

– Marie, Let’s Eat! stops at Hodges Bar-B-Que in Decatur, GA and Blue Sky Barbecue in Woodstock, GA in two of his latest chapters

– The pitmasters for the 2015 Big Apple Barbecue Block Party have been announced, and Ed Mitchell is not attending this year

– Another reminder that the NCBBQA cooking and judging school is this Saturday, March 28

– Aaron Franklin is a James Beard finalist for Best Chef: South

– If, like me, you are less than familiar with Alabama and Georgia barbecue, here’s a primer

When it comes to regional barbecue, some people claim that neither Georgia nor Alabama has a distinctive style. We say, think again.

Sure, you can find everything from Texas brisket to Memphis ribs in Atlanta, but on the two-lane highways, a definite Georgia style emerges. Pork shoulders or hams are cooked over hickory and dressed in a thin tomato-and-vinegar sauce. They’re served with Brunswick stew, a hearty combination of chicken, beef, or pork (or all three) simmered with tomatoes and corn. Some of these elements carry over into Alabama—chopped pork dressed in tomato-and-vinegar sauce, plus a somewhat thinner Brunswick stew. But there’s too much variation to identify a single Alabama style. Sauces range from ruddy, tomato-based mixtures to thick mustard-spiked concoctions. Most distinctive is Alabama’s mayonnaise-based white sauce. Some are traditional, others more modern, but one element unites: They’re all delicious.

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