BBQ - Everyone loves barbecue! Despite its popularity, one question remains: where does barbecue come from? Most Americans are not aware of it, but there is a great deal of history behind the barbecue sauces of the Carolinas. In fact, when the average American talks about one of the four favorite types of barbecue sauce (vinegar & pepper, mustard, light tomato, and heavy tomato) he or she is referring to a sauce that comes from the Carolinas. North Carolinians use three of these sauces, and South Carolinians use all four.
The first, and simplest, of the sauces is vinegar and pepper. All that this sauce is made of is vinegar that has had red pepper flakes soaked in it. No one really knows where this particular sauce came from, but thousands of people up and down the Carolina coastline love it.
The second sauce is the mustard sauce. It is unique to South Carolina and has come to be identified as the definitive barbecue sauce of South Carolina. The credit for this sauce goes to the German settlers who called South Carolina home in the 18th century. Even today, this mustard sauce is associated with family names like Bessinger, Shealy, Hite, Sweatman, Sikes, Price, Lever, Meyer, Kiser, and Zeigler.
The light tomato sauce is a simple sauce made by adding vinegar and pepper to ketchup. It was first prepared around the early 1900s, and quickly became a favorite with those who wanted a bit of sweetness in their sauce.
The heavy tomato sauce is hardly a half a century old, but has been embraced with gusto across the United States. It is available in the supermarket under such brand names as Kraft Foods and KC Masterpiece. Americans love this particular type of sauce and slather it over all their barbecued foods. Barbecue would not be the same without this delicious type of sauce!
Side Note: Eastern North Carolina barbecue is normally made by the use of the "whole hog", where the entire pig is barbecued and the meat from all parts of the pig are chopped and mixed together. Eastern North Carolina barbecue uses a thin sauce made of vinegar and spices (often simply cayenne pepper).
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