Whether the whole hog tradition is dying out or evolving into a new form is left unsettled. By the end of the story, Chris Siler at Siler’s Old Time has switched to pork shoulders after it got too hard to procure whole hogs, and Ricky Parker is gone, dead from liver disease at only 51. At the same time, a new generation of cooks from other walks of life, like Tyson Ho at Arrogant Swine in Brooklyn, NY, and Elliot Moss at Buxton Hall in Asheville, NC, have made the “journey into the madness of whole-hog fanaticism.”
North Carolina is where you go to get the best barbecue in our defiantly local, my-barbecue-is-the-best-barbecue-of-all land of ours. You prefer Texas, or Kansas City, or Memphis? You are entitled. And I will not throw you out of my house if you bring any of them over. But Carolina barbecue is the best barbecue.
– Speaking of NC barbecue, there’s now an app for that courtesy of Our State Magazine
You know that feeling when you get to Midwood Smokehouse a little too late, and you see someone being served the last fall-off-the-bone, flavorful rack of ribs? Yeah, let’s hope that their pork supply remains plentiful. 1401 Central Ave., 704-295-4227, midwoodsmokehouse.com.
Mac’s Speed Shop’s pulled pork
Chipotle may be able to pull it off, but barbecue joint without pork? This is one place where if we’re coming in for the smoky, Carolina-sauced pulled pork, we won’t be so happy to substitute the chicken. 2511 South Boulevard, 704-522-6227, macspeedshop.com.
The WhiskeyPigs name refers to Troy & Sons’ spent mash, which the pigs and Reeves’ other animals slurp down for 30 days prior to slaughter. With 10,000 pounds of mash per week, the distillery produces more than enough for the WhiskeyPigs fleet. The majority of the 2-3 percent alcohol concoction is collected for another local dairy farmer’s cows.
“They’re a little bit calmer, because they’ve had a little buzz,” says Reeves of the pigs’ final month, “but they’re pretty calm as it is. It’s their personality.”
Upcoming Asheville BBQ joint, Buxton Hall made the journey down to Atlanta on Sunday. In one word: incredible. The line was long to get to the porky goodness, but it was SO worth it. The pulled pork was perfectly cooked and I’m still thinking about the fresh bread it rested on. So, roadtrip to Asheville soon?