When I was growing up, I loved the flavor of bbq sauce . I ate it on everything from hamburgers to onion rings. Much to my mother’s disappointment, bbq sauce graced our dinner table every night . I slathered all of the good cooking with bbq sauce, but at least I always clean my plate even if I soaked my dinner in sauce to do it.
As I entered into adulthood, I became a little more discriminating when it came to bbq sauce . I still loved the flavor and bbq sauce was my favorite dip of choice for French fries, but my taste buds became more conventional when it came to my use of bbq sauce. I liked to dip my steak in it or make oven baked chicken basted in a nice hickory bbq sauce.
With my love of any meat cooked with bbq sauce, it was inevitable that I eventually visit the south. The south is the bbq capital of the world. I had heard about the world famous bbq’s in the Deep South and my mouth watered in anticipation as I packed my bags. I tried to do a little research to find out where the best bbq sauce was served. Everyone told me that I had to try a pulled pork sandwich and wash it down with sweat tea if I wanted to experience true Southern bbq .
The day I arrived in the state of Alabama, I bundled to the closest bbq joint. You could smell the meat cooking a mile away and as I pulled into the parking lot, I breathed deeply of the exciting scent. I had my moist towelettes. I had a spare shirt. I was ready for the sauciest bbq sauce and a pile of pulled pork. I placed my order and waited impatiently for my dinner to arrive. When the waitress placed it in front of me, I took one look at it and told her she had made a mistake .
‘There isn’t any bbq sauce on my pork.’ I explained.
The waitress just laughed as she poured me a glass of sugary iced tea. ‘Darlin’ that is real Southern bbq. We don’t use bbq sauce. The secret is in how we cook the meat, we don’t want to ruin it by drowning it.’ She saw my disappointment and brought me some bottled bbq sauce on the side. I did try her traditional pulled pork minus the bbq sauce and it was good, but for me, it tasted so much more familiar when I slathered it with my favorite sauce.