North Carolina BBQ and Community

Monk: NC State’s Homegrown articles and videos offer tips and tools for gardening, cooking and sourcing food in North Carolina. This video focuses on our favorite NC foodway, barbecue.

There’s a surefire way to start a fight with a native North Carolinian. It’s not arguing about which university is tops in the state — clearly it’s NC State — or the best basketball conference — everyone knows it’s the ACC.

No, if you want to get into a knock-down, drag-out, try suggesting that something is superior to North Carolina barbecue. It doesn’t matter if you’re extolling the merits of Memphis dry rub or the tastes of Texas brisket, you’re guaranteed to get major pushback from a true child of the Old North State.

We are passionate about our barbecue in these parts, says Dana Hanson, NC State Extension specialist in meat science and a self-proclaimed barbecue purist.

“That tradition has carried over hundreds of years here,” Hanson says. “It’s become part of our DNA, part of our food culture in North Carolina. We raise pork, and we know how to cook it too.”

In this edition of Homegrown, we take a deep dive into the tradition and the community aspects that make North Carolina barbecue so exceptional.

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