The One True Barbecue: Fire, Smoke, and the Pitmasters Who Cook the Whole Hog

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“For anyone interested in the origins, history, methods and spectacle of whole-hog barbecue, this book is essential reading...Fertel leaves readers hungry not only for barbecue but also for the barbecue country he so engagingly maps” (The Wall Street Journal).

In the spirit of the oral historians who tracked down and told the stories of America’s original bluesmen, this is a journey into the southern heartland to discover the last of the great roadside whole hog pitmasters who hold onto the heritage and the secrets of America’s traditional barbecue.

In The One True Barbecue, Rien Fertel chronicles the uniquely southern art of whole hog barbecue—America’s original barbecue—through the professional pitmasters who make a living firing, smoking, flipping, and cooking 200-plus pound pigs.

More than one hundred years have passed since a small group of families in the Carolinas and Tennessee started roasting a whole pig over a smoky, fiery pit. Descendants of these original pitmasters are still cooking, passing down the recipes and traditions across generations to those willing to take on the grueling, dangerous task. This isn’t your typical backyard pig roast, and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. This is barbecue at its most primitive and tasty.

Fertel finds the gatekeepers of real southern barbecue-including those we tend the fire at legendary spots like Bum’s, Wilber’s, Sweatman’s, Grady’s, the Skylight Inn, and three different places named Scott’s-to tell their stories and pay homage to the diversity and beauty of this culinary tradition. These pitmasters are now influencing a new breed of chefs and barbecue enthusiasts from Nashville to Brooklyn.

To quote Serious Eats: The One True Barbecue isOne damn good book about American barbecue.”
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About the author

Rien Fertel is a Louisiana-born and based writer, historian, and teacher. He grew up in his family’s chain of restaurants across the country, and, after graduating from college, ran a grocery-deli in downtown New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina exiled him to New York, where he started writing about food. His work has appeared in Oxford American, Garden & Gun, Southern Living, Spirit, Saveur, The Local Palate, and many other publications. He holds a PhD in History, teaches in New Orleans, and divides his time between the banks of the Mississippi River and a 100-plus year old church in St. Martinville, Louisiana.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
May 10, 2016
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781476793993
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Language
English
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Genres
Cooking / Methods / Barbecue & Grilling
Cooking / Methods / General
History / United States / State & Local / South (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV)
Travel / Food, Lodging & Transportation / Restaurants
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In the early years of the nineteenth century, the burgeoning cultural pride of white Creoles in New Orleans intersected with America's golden age of print, to explosive effect. Imagining the Creole City reveals the profusion of literary output -- histories and novels, poetry and plays -- that white Creoles used to imagine themselves as a unified community of writers and readers.

Rien Fertel argues that Charles Gayarré's English-language histories of Louisiana, which emphasized the state's dual connection to America and to France, provided the foundation of a white Creole print culture predicated on Louisiana's exceptionalism. The writings of authors like Grace King, Adrien Rouquette, and Alfred Mercier consciously fostered an image of Louisiana as a particular social space, and of themselves as the true inheritors of its history and culture. In turn, the forging of this white Creole identity created a close-knit community of cosmopolitan Creole elites, who reviewed each other's books, attended the same salons, crusaded against the popular fiction of George Washington Cable, and worked together to preserve the French language in local and state governmental institutions. Together they reimagined the definition of "Creole" and used it as a marker of status and power.

By the end of this group's era of cultural prominence, Creole exceptionalism had become a cornerstone in the myth of Louisiana in general and of New Orleans in particular. In defining themselves, the authors in the white Creole print community also fashioned a literary identity that resonates even today.

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