As all you American’s know, but probably less well known by you Brits, one of the staple foods of the south is BBQ. We have explored this deliciousness in North Carolina and in Tennessee, trying to find the best BBQ and the differences between different styles in different regions.
Our first stop was at Moe’s Original BBQ in Asheville, NC. We found out that it is actually a chain of restaurants that was started by three guys from Alabama, thus is more Alabaman in style than North Carolinian. Nevertheless, we have read a little about the styles in North Carolina. Apparently the main defining characteristic of western- or Lexington style as it is often referred to- BBQ is that ketchup is often added to the sauce. Apparently there is also a difference in the type of pork they use: in west NC they typically only use the shoulder of the pig, which is more fatty and richer, whereas elsewhere they use all parts including both white and dark meat.
Now for Tennessee! We did manage to eat at local BBQ joints in Nashville and Memphis, so we got a better idea of the styles. In Nashville we ate at Rippy’s on Broadway and in Memphis we went to Central BBQ on Central Avenue in mid-town, where I got ribs at both places. The main difference between eastern (Nashville) and western (Memphis) Tennessee BBQ is that in the east the sauce is vinegar based whereas in the west the sauce is tomato based. The sweetness of the tomato-based sauce in Memphis was to die for and is definitely more to my liking than the tartness of the vinegar sauces. Dry rubbed ribs in Memphis are not to be missed!