“Barbecue Service”

I have sought the elusive aroma
Around outlying cornfields, turned corners
Near the site of a Civil War surrender.
The transformation may take place
At a pit no wider than a grave,
Behind a single family’s barn.
These weathered ministers
Preside with the simplest of elements:
Vinegar and pepper, split pig and fire.
Underneath a glistening mountain in air,
Something is converted to a savor: the pig.
Flesh purified by far atmosphere.
Like the slick-sided sensation from last summer,
A fish pulled quick from a creek
By a boy. Like breasts in a motel
With whiskey and twilight
Become a blue smoke in memory.
This smolder draws the soul of our longing.

I want to see all the old home folks,
Ones who may not last another year.
We will rock on porches like chapels
And not say anything, their faces
Impenetrable as different barks of trees.
After the brother who drank has been buried,
The graveplot stunned by sun
In the woods,
We men still living pass the bottle.
We barbecue pigs.
The tin-roofed sheds with embers
Are smoking their blue sacrifice
Across Carolina.

-James Applewhite
James Applewhite: Selected Poems, 2005

One of the 10 Poems Every North Carolinian Should Read

Fire Smoke & Flavor BBQ Tour with Michael & Bryan Voltaggio: North Carolina

The Voltaggio bros stop by Wilber’s in Goldsboro as part of a barbecue tour sponsored by Williams-Sonoma. Speaking of which…

Hey, Restoration Hardware/Crate and Barrel/Target/whoever, how about you fund the Barbecue Bros official barbecue road trip? It’ll be super awesome, we promise.



(via New Film Documents Alabama Barbecue)

Courtesy of the Southern Foodways Alliance, here’s a short video on Archibald’s, a joint that I’ve never been to but according to rlreevesjr is his ”last meal on earth joint”

We’re pleased to share our newest short film, Archibald’s, made by Wes Wages of Armosa Films. Head to Northport, Alabama, where you’ll meet George Archibald Jr., his sister Paulette Washington, and her son Woodrow Washington. Their family has been in the barbecue business since 1962. The tiny establishment just a stone’s throw from Tuscaloosa is famous in Alabama and beyond for its pit-smoked ribs and sliced pork butt.

If you’d like to learn more, check out our oral history with George Archibald Jr., part of the Alabama leg of our Southern BBQ Trail.