Chicago barbecue is a less heralded style of barbecue that has origins in the American South but is only found in the southside of Chicago. Primarily rib tips (a remnants of a St. Louis cut rib) and sausage links, they are smoked in a steel and glass “aquarium” smoker that allows for year-round smoking in the harsh Chicago winters. I’ll link to another podcast next week with more on this style of barbecue but for now, here’s a short podcast from the Southern Foodways Alliance’s Gravy podcast.
Barbecue purists from the Carolinas to Texas might balk at the notion that Chicago, Illinois, has a barbecue tradition all its own. But owing to the Great Migration, and to a special piece of equipment called the aquarium smoker, reporter-producer Ambriehl Crutchfield finds that Chicago barbecue has evolved into a style unto itself.
Link to episode
I would have loved to have gone to Valentina’s last weekend while I was in Austin, but alas it didn’t happen. Hopefully next time. In the meantime, here’s a short documentary from the Southern Foodways Alliance.
Directed by Southern Foodways Alliance ringer documentary filmmaker extraordinaire, Joe York. We previously posted the follow-up to this video on the late Ricky Parker’s son, Zach, who is carrying on the tradition at Scott’s-Parker’s.
by Joe York, an examination of barbecue culture in west-central Tennessee. At the core of the story is whole hog stalwart Ricky Parker, pitmaster at B.E. Scott’s Bar-B-Que in Lexington, Tennessee.
Another Eater/Southern Foodways Alliance documentary.
They said a woman couldn’t run a barbecue joint…but that was before they tried Helen Turner’s sandwiches. Turner has owned and operated Helen’s Bar-B-Que in Brownsville, Tennesee by herself since 1996, and amassed a loyal following due to her smoky cooking and secret sauce recipe. Watch the above video from the Southern Foodways Alliance documentary series to learn more.
– JJR’s BBQ at Bank of America Stadium has gotten the upgrade treatment as part of the latest round of renovations at the stadium
– The Southern Foodways Alliance has an oral history interview with Jiyeon Lee and Cody Taylor of Heirloom Market BBQ
– Several barbecue sammies on Esquire’s “Where to Get the Best Sandwich in Every State”, including a barbecue sandwich from Stamey’s in Greensboro
– “One of the reasons the project took longer than expected to complete was the discovery of a barbecue pit from the first brick and mortar barbecue restaurant in Lexington. Greene said the pits were hidden behind a closet in the former conference room, but when workers discovered what they were city officials knew they had to preserve that heritage, even at the cost of delaying the project.”
– Grant’s latest stop is Bluegrass Barbeque in Moody, AL which was the last stop on his Memphis trip
– TMBBQ visits Lewis Barbecue in Charleston and John Lewis proclaims “I live here, and I’m staying here”
– Sports Channel 8 makes the case for ECU to the Big 12 based on barbecue
Often times, I hear the Greenville television market getting knocked when conference expansion conversations happen. And yes, it’s not that large. But considering the Big 12 is a Texas-based league, I don’t think we’re looking at this the right way. Instead of looking at ECU’s market in terms of television size, let’s view it strictly in terms of BBQ quality. Texas has the brisket, I get that and I love it. But Greenville has B’s and Skylight Inn and Parker’s and many other great choices. Whether you like slaw on your pork or not — I personally choose to go without it — ECU’s BBQ scene stacks up with anybody in the country.
– Tough decisions:
Another well-made short film created by the Southern Foodways Alliance.
Ricky Scott is, among many things, a seasoned pit master in Hell’s Half Acre, South Carolina.
The SFA thanks Jim ’N Nick’s for celebrating and supporting the rich barbecue traditions of the American South.
Produced by 1504. Music by Bell Plaines.
– Lolis Eric Elie thinks the nation is currently in the “cover-band” stage of barbecue; read this article to see what exactly he means
Barbecue’s migration to the national stage is almost complete. This summer, in Parade magazine, John T. Edge declared this the “new golden age of barbecue,” saying, “Americans adopted barbecue as our national folk food.”
That is exactly what barbecue didn’t need.
– Several Pittsburgh-area barbecue restaurants have been influenced by the Carolinas
– North Mecklenburg Republican Women will host its 5th annual Pig Pickin’ and Politickin’ event on Sept. 10
– This Slate writer believes that if “you put enough barbecue sauce on anything, it’ll taste good,” which is just wrong on so many levels
– A University of Alabama professor recently received an $18,000 grant from the Southern Foodways Alliance to study how barbecue has become such a cultural phenomenon in Alabama
– Clyde Cooper’s will be rebuilding – ahem, “reincarnating” – its current interior when it relocates to a new Raleigh location just around the corner in December (via)
– The event schedule for the Q-City Charlotte BBQ Championship has been released and includes concerts, contests, and a brewfest
– Because it is the best (non-alcoholic) drink to have with barbecue, I present to you “The History of Cheerwine”
The Southern Foodways Alliance has a bunch of great videos on barbecue joints in North Carolina that I am just now starting to dig into. Here’s one on recent 5 hog joint Stamey’s Barbecue.