Linkdown: 9/21/20

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Sweet Lew’s Barbeque has started doing whole hog on Sundays as of this past Sunday, making it the only whole hog available in Charlotte smoked the old way.

The recently shuttered Bill Spoon’s cooked the whole hog but switched to gas smokers some years back. Here’s hoping whole hog Sundays catches on with Charlotte customers and Lewis Donald can continue to smoke whole hogs weekly (and maybe more frequently if its popular enough).

The price is $16/lb or $13 for a plate with two sides. This puts it just above Midwood Smokehouse ($13) and Jon G’s ($14) but below Noble Smoke ($18). Not bad, considering those are smoked pork shoulders compared with whole hog.

It certainly looks like Sweet Lew’s has been running through some wood, so hopefully I can pick up some whole hog next week for football.

Native News

The property that Bill Spoon’s sits on was sold for just over $1M last Friday, two days after it closed for good after 57 years (scroll down)

The Charlotte Observer’s Theoden James has the full story, and notes that the closing wasn’t because of the pandemic. Steve Spoon, Jr.: “There is no other source of income for mom-and-pop places. There’s no financial backing, there’s no partners, there’s no corporate money to be funded in when you are short. The customers are their only source of revenue, so if they don’t come, (they) have no safety net. You have to support ’em.”

Bargarita is not looking too promising

Non-Native News

Barbecue historian Jim Auchmutey was a consultant on Netflix’s “American Barbecue Showdown,” which filmed outside of Atlanta last year but was just released on Netflix

Rasheed Philips of Philips Barbeque Co appeared on “American Barbecue Showdown” and now has his own podcast

Robert Moss has updated his website ahead of the re-release of “Barbecue: The History of An American Institution, Revised and Expanded”

Braised in the South won Food Network’s “Food Truck Challenge” and is opening a restaurant in the Charleston area

Pappy’s Smokehouse is planning to open its second location in October

In LA and looking for barbecue? Kevin’s BBQ Joints has you covered

Snake River Farms is having a sale

Barbecue Bros Book Club: Barbecue: The History of An American Institution by Robert Moss

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Not that I’m anywhere close to being qualified enough to evaluate books but more so as a public service announcement we will periodically discuss barbecue and barbecue-related books. First up is what I would consider an essential book to understanding barbecue.

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In order to better understand where barbecue is heading today, I think its vital to understand the history and foundation of barbecue in the US. Robert Moss is a barbecue historian from Charleston and the current barbecue editor of Southern Living Magazine, so he is as qualified as any to write about the origins of barbecue in the United States and how the regional styles popped up. And that is exactly what he does in Barbecue: An American Institution. In it, he traces the Caribbean origins of the word to the American roots in Virginia – thats right, South Carolina, you are decidedly not the birthplace of barbecue despite what your ludicrous campaign says – through the decline during the fast food era and its current rebirth.

Moss’s book is comprehensive in its documentation of barbecue’s trends across America, and while it does devote some space to detailing the regional styles of barbecue (North Carolina, Texas, South Carolina, etc) if you are looking for more in-depth knowledge about a particular style you will have to look elsewhere. Still, this is as good a starting place as ever if you are looking to read up on American barbecue. Lots of great archival photos and ads are sprinkled throughout as are some barbecue-related recipes. Highly recommended.

Monk