In North Carolina, nay, the South altogether, you must understand that BBQ is a NOUN, not a verb. And each region has it’s specialty, and everyone else are heathens.
This is PARTICULARLY true in the Carolinas, where the regions are particularly proud of their variety. Eastern NC (whole hog, vinegar based sauce), Western NC (aka Lexington BBQ – shoulder only, tomato based sauce), and South Carolina (Mustard and Vinegar based sauce). Many an argument has been had over the validity of a particular variety, who’s momma makes the best sauce, and who’s daddy roasts the best pig.
But we all agree on one thing – no matter what region you are from, Carolina BBQ is by far the best in the world, and we all agree that anyone who disagrees with THAT needs to have their head checked.
Now, I am all about Eastern NC BBQ, something I didn’t truly appreciate until I had been out of state for a few years, and couldn’t GET it anymore. When people said “we’re having a BBQ” and it was nothing more than grilled meats, MAYBE with memphis style sauce on chicken or ribs, I had to check my temper and explain to them what REAL BBQ is, and how they were doing it wrong.
It was then that I realized something important – the North Carolina BBQ had gotten into my blood. Nay, into my very genetic makeup.
And that really, there was no hope for me but to return to NC (and I may give many other reasons when asked why I came home, but really, how can someone live where BBQ is a VERB?), so that I could once again have proper Eastern NC BBQ on demand.
What brings this on?
We went to a pig-pickin’ yesterday. This is a Southern tradition, whereby a large grill (usually converted from an oil drum or two) is used to roast a pig (half or whole) for several hours until done (the best start cooking at 4am, and serve the food somewhere around 4pm) while being basted in that tangy/spicy/sweet Eastern NC vinegar sauce the whole time. Oh, you can do it sans sauce, and add after, but it’s not the same.
And Ursula? I love her, but she doesn’t get it. Yet.
It only took me 30 years to discover that I love sweet tea. Give it a few years, and then we’ll be far away, and she’ll get the craving for proper NC BBQ. and we won’t be able to get it, and shortly after we get off the plane, we’ll be at one of the reputable Eastern NC BBQ places
And then I’ll know she’s truly adapted.
 As well as the official record of parentage of your opponent in the discussion, including but not limited to the nature of the honor of the opponent’s mother. Also up for debate are the breeding habits of your opponent, their father, and the pig which they roast. So yeah, BBQ discussions can get heated in these parts.
 At a wedding they had nothing but water and sweet tea. And after a lifetime of having mediocre sweet tea forced upon me I had given up, and was drinking this because, well, it wasn’t water. This particular tea was the nectar of heaven. And that was it, I was hooked.
 Cooper’s in Raleigh,Allen & Son’s in Hillsboro or Bynum, and Old Tymme in Cary. And if all else fails, Smithfield’s. I’m not saying The Pitt in Raleigh isn’t good, but I want a place that specializes in Eastern BBQ and fried chicken (and MAYBE fried fish).