Summertime and cookouts are here people. Even though I grew up calling afternoons of grilling—sausage and peppers, burgers, Dad’s secret Sicilian chicken—barbecue, I now reserve that word for meat that’s cooked low and slow over hardwood embers. Heck, in Eastern North Carolina barbecue’s even more specific. It only applies to whole hog cookery, a method I’ve come to know and love thanks to my pal Tyson Ho.
You might want to have a sandwich nearby while watching this hunger-inducing Munchies documentary on the Skylight Inn in Ayden, N.C. It’s full of delicious looking hawg and chock full of characters, including seventh generation pitmaster Sam Jones and a cleaver-wielding gent, who prefers to go by the nom du guerre Chopper.
“Right now, barbecue is trendy, Barbecue is cool,” Jones said. “There was time that barbecue wasn’t cool. It was in the armpit of the culinary world.” Presumably that armpit’s now occupied by cupcakes.