Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Great Debate: How Do You Do That BBQ That You Do So Well?

I was eating at a local place, Greenmount Station Restaurant and Lounge, enjoying typical Bar-esq food when I ordered a side of BBQ sauce in which to smother my Old-Bay covered fries. I would go on to complain about Old Bay, but it is Maryland and that's not the main topic... but...

When the BBQ sauce arrived I noticed the "Style" right off the bat. Its loose consistency and light reddish color led me to immediately assume it was going to taste a lot like flavored ketchup, to which I was correct.

I must have had an expression of disappointment on my face that was so obvious a blind man could see it because my friend and long time dining companion took one look at me and said..

"Not the kind you like is it?"

She's not wrong, but at the same time not right either. There are so many styles of BBQ and BBQ Sauce out there, ranging from Carolina style to Northern Style sweets, that its hard to say "I hate this style". But in all honesty the style that tastes like flavored ketchup to me is the biggest disappointment ever.

Without missing a beat she stole the sauce from me and used it herself exclaiming "I hate BBQ Sauce, but I looove this style!" which lead to a long discussion about styles of BBQ, Why she hated BBQ sauce so much, and why I disliked that style so much.

For me, if I am going to order a side of BBQ Sauce or BBQ' d something I sure as hell don't want it tasting like ketchup. If I wanted Ketchup, Id just order Ketchup.

So I thought I'd come home and pick the brains of what readers I do have and see what people think about BBQ Sauce/BBQ in general.

As usual during The Great Debate the poll is posted on the right hand side, and Id love to hear why you chose the style you did!


It was brought to my attention that I may have to give a brief description of the difference between each style. Keep in mind that almost every state in the US alone claims to have a unique style, but I am going to stick to the most common. So here it goes:

California- Used on everything from Pizzas to Portobello Mushrooms this style contains an acidic and sweet quality taken mostly from the use of citrus fruits like Oranges and Pineapples when the sauce is prepared.

Georgia- Famous for its Pork BBQ, Georgia style is based on ketchup, molasses, bourbon, garlic, cayenne pepper, and other ingredients to form a sweeter style sauce with a kick of acidity.

Kentucky- Home of so many BBQ Cook-offs it should be a state sanctioned sport! The style here is a mix of tomato and vinegar base with strong oak and smoke flavors.

Kansas- Claimed to be the "Worlds Capital of BBQ", Kansas BBQ is without fail one of the most recognized and respected styles to date. Kansas City style uses a sweet, spicy sauce with a tomato base.

Carolina's- Now I know someone is going to yell at me for putting the two into one section, but for the most part they are similar. Vinegar based BBQ reigns most common here.

Texas- Ahh yes, who could forget Texas. Beef, Beef, Beef, and some pork. From what I've tasted and gathered most Texas styles are Tomato based with added vinegar for acidity.


The O said...

"I would go on to complain about Old Bay..."

Blasphemer! ;)

tyronebcookin said...

Old Bay? Whats That? (an easy way to get rid of paprika and other non-used spices hiding in old cupboards)

Just kidding, I know what it is...But I stick with Zatarain's (crab boil, shrimp boil, various seafood seasonings which kicks Old Bay to the curb in my opinion)which makes sense me being from these here southern states.

But on the BBQ thing I will probably pick Georgia, BUT and you know there is always a BUT...Alabama style is like the Georgia but with more smoke flavor like the Kentucky, and I personally like to build mine with a tomato (such and puree, or sauce) product not ketchup since we have so many great sugars to add already, molasses, sorgum, etc...

Also, we have a chicken BBQ sauce that most agree originated in and with Alabama, it is a white BBQ sauce made from mayonaise, vinegar, herbs & spices, and lots of garlic(and may include lemon juice, sugar, etc...)I personally find it tastes well with pulled pork and smoked turkey too.

The Foodist said...

lol you know you pointed out something I didnt think about at 1 am when I wrote this post. I should say "Tomato" instead of ketchup...