U.S. culture (week 2): Barbecue!

HTP is committed to maintaining a strong cultural component of its J-1 Program and regularly publishes topics related to U.S. culture. This week Program manager Kira Udo talks about her favorite type of food: Barbecue!

outdoor-grilling-recipes-delicious-back-yard-bbq-helpThis week I am going to tell you about my favorite cuisine, barbeque. There is much debate on the origins of American Barbeque but after reviewing several websites on the subject, I agree with Wiki; there are 4 main regional styles for Barbeque. What makes each region different is how they serve the meat (sliced, chopped, pulled, slabs), what kind of meat (usually pork but sometimes chicken), what spices they add, and how they make their sauce.

First Region: Memphis

Memphis is a city in the far southwestern corner of Tennessee. In the Barbeque world Memphis is known for The World Championship Barbeque Cooking Contest held each May. People come from all over the country to compete for the championship title and the contest was even put in the Guinness Book of World records as “the largest pork barbeque contest in the world.” So what makes Memphis barbeque sauce different? According to About.com, “Memphis sauce is usually made with tomatoes, vinegar, and any countless combination of spices. It is generally thin, tangy, and somewhat sweet.” Memphis is also well known for their dry rub ribs, yum! You can find a great recipe for Memphis barbeque sauce here.

Second Region: The Carolina’s

The Carolina’s have a wide variety of different ways to present their barbeque. In the eastern parts North Carolina, the “whole hog” is barbequed and chopped up to make the meat and in the west, just the shoulder. Barbeque sauce from the Carolina’s is vinegar based with added spices but in the east they add varying degrees of tomato. However there is a small region of South Carolina that uses a mustard based sauce and it is delicious! You can find example’s of both types of Carolina barbeque sauce here and here.

Third Region: Kansas City

Kansas City’s barbeque is known for its many different styles and ways of cooking barbeque. The meats range from pork to chicken to fish and are slow smoked over an array of different kinds of wood.  The stand out for Kansas City style barbeque is their sauce. It’s thick and sweet; typically made with ketchup and molasses. Kansas City can also boast as having the most widely spread sauce as you can find KC Masterpiece in almost every retail grocery store across the US. I can’t give you the recipe to the famous KC Masterpiece but one similar can be found here.

Fourth Region: Texas

The last region I’m going to mention is Texas. With Texas being the second largest state in the country there are several different styles of barbeque served and can be broken up into 4 subcategories: East Texas, Central Texas, South Texas, and West Texas. The styles are so varying that it would take me a week to describe them all so instead I’m going to challenge you to make the different kinds of sauce and tell me what your favorite is. You can find the different recipes here, here, here, and here.

Thank you for reading this week’s blog post, I just love barbeque! And don’t forget to send us a picture in front of your favorite local barbeque restaurant. If you are in the Atlanta area be sure to check out “Atlanta’s Award Winning Barbeque” at Hottie Hawgs Barbeque.

All information above found from the following websites:



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