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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Beyond the Book: Barbecue and Fortuna

Do you like barbecue? I think most people who live in the South do. That’s where I’m from. Did you know that barbecue is prepared differently in different parts of the country? Let me tell you about our Southern barbecue.

First, we like pork barbecue more than beef. In the South we always ate lots of pork because it was a low maintenance food source.

Second, each different locale has their own favorite sauce. In North Carolina for example the sauce varies depending on where you are, but in South Carolina where I live is the only state that traditionally includes all four recognized barbecue sauces including mustard based, vinegar based and light and heave tomato based sauces.

And of course other parts of the country have their own recipes.

The people at Fortuna love barbecue too. In this excerpt, Aimee, Rocky, Cade, and June go to eat barbecue at a local festival.

They strolled over to the vendor who was selling barbecue. The man had set up a huge covered grill that overflowed with ribs. Hot bars kept the pulled pork warm. As she watched, the man dipped a huge brush into a bucket and swabbed the ribs with barbecue sauce. She took a deep breath. “It smells divine.”
“I’ll get you a big plate,” Rocky promised as he and Cade went to get in line.
Aimee and June sat down at a table near the dance floor and watched the man selling barbecue. “He’s quite an actor,” Aimee said.
“Step right up,” the barbecue man shouted as his helpers busily dished up barbecue for the throngs of customers drawn by the meaty, smoky smell hanging in the air. “This is real barbecue here. We smoke ‘er in a pit using wood for our fuel until she’s so tender she’s falling off the bone. Then we add some Carolina-style sauce, a little coleslaw, and baked beans. Nothing better this side of heaven.”
“I like the Carolina-style sauce,” June said. “The mustard base is tasty.” She laughed. “Some guy from Michigan came to town once and set up this barbecue place in town. I think his barbecue came straight from a freezer somewhere, and it sure hadn’t been cooked and smoked in a pit.”
“What happened to him?”
June giggled. “He went broke. I sold his building to Jessie Evans for her flower shop.”
When Rocky and Cade returned, they all fell on the barbecue with gusto. “That guy is the barbecue king,” Aimee said as she licked barbecue sauce from her fingers. “I’ve never had anything so good.”
Cade passed her a napkin. “Food tastes better when you eat it outdoors, but this is great. Maybe I should dig a barbecue pit at Bad Creek.”
“Say!” Rocky enthused. “That’s a great idea. I’d like one at Fortuna too. You’ll have to do some research for us, June, and find out if they barbecued meat like we do today back in the eighteenth century. I bet they did.”
Aimee flicked bits of pork from her sleeve where Rocky had sprayed her in his enthusiasm.

Of course, Aimee is about to have a great adventure, but that’s a post for another day.

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