When it comes to meat, South Carolina barbecue is a very popular country. That means simmering a 125-pound pig for 12 hours or more in a cement pit on a fresh bed of hot coals until the meat just falls apart. Whole pork barbecue is the oldest form of barbecue and is the basis of the SC BBQ Trail. This trail offers some of the most modern barbecue techniques and can even transport you to the origins of the barbecue itself.
Barbecue was first discovered in North Carolina in the late 16th century by Sir Walter Raleigh. In 1585, Raleigh sent men to the coast of present-day North Carolina. While there, John White drew pictures of Croatian Indians “roasting their fish over the flame”; they were very careful not to get burned. What White witnessed was that the Croats used a “barbecue”, a structure of sticks that held the meat over the fire.
Spaniards used barbecues in the Caribbean after seeing locals use the device to smoke their meat. For a relatively small state, South Carolina has four distinct regions with unique barbecue styles. Mustard-based sweet and hot sauce dominates the central part of the state, from the counties surrounding the capital city of Columbia to the Lowcountry. In the Northeast, from Florence and Kingstree to Myrtle Beach, a spicy mix of vinegar and pepper is typical. As a native of Virginia, I quickly learned that barbecue (BBQ) is the root of disagreement in the Carolinas. South Carolina is the only state in the country where you'll find all four basic types of barbecue sauce, sometimes on the same menu.
Authentic recipes that go back generations, along with dishes from some of SC's most popular cookmasters brought together in this first collection dedicated to SC BBQ. Based in Charleston, South Carolina, he is the contributing barbecue editor for Southern Living and the author of five books on food culture and culinary history. And if you're on the SC BBQ Trail in South Carolina, you should know that “barbecue” is a noun, not a verb. Depending on where you are in South Carolina, you might find your pork because here in South Carolina, barbecue means pork soaked in a vinegar-and-pepper sauce. However, unlike SC BBQ hashish, you've probably tried or at least heard of mustard-based barbecue sauce.
In addition to being the possible origin of barbecue, other contributions that South Carolina has made to the world of barbecue include two unique items. The first is SC BBQ hash, which is made from pork shoulder cooked with potatoes and onions until it's tender and flavorful. The second is SC BBQ sauce, which is made with mustard as its base and has a sweet and tangy flavor that's unique to South Carolina. Both are staples on menus throughout South Carolina. Whether you're looking for an authentic taste of South Carolina or just want to explore some delicious new flavors, there's something for everyone on the SC BBQ Trail. From traditional recipes passed down through generations to modern takes on classic dishes, there's something for everyone on this trail.
So if you're looking for an adventure that will take your taste buds on an unforgettable journey, then look no further than South Carolina's BBQ Trail.