Interesting piece in the most recent Food (and Travel) issue of The New Yorker that raises several points many of us who've traveled in pursuit of regional culinary specialties have probably thought about . . .
America’s Most Political Food
at NewYorker.com, Lauren Collins wrote:The woman was referring to Maurice’s Piggie Park, a small chain of barbecue restaurants, established in West Columbia, South Carolina, in 1953. The original restaurant occupies a barnlike building on a busy intersection and is presided over by a regionally famous electric marquee that features the boast “WORLD’S BEST BAR-B-Q,” along with a grinning piglet named Little Joe. The Piggie Park is important in the history of barbecue, which is more or less the history of America. One reason is that its founder, Maurice Bessinger, popularized the yellow, mustard-based sauce that typifies the barbecue of South Carolina’s Midlands area. Another is that Bessinger was a white supremacist who, in 1968, went to the Supreme Court in an unsuccessful fight against desegregation, and, in 1974, ran a losing gubernatorial campaign, wearing a white suit and riding a white horse.
In 2000, when the Confederate flag was removed from the South Carolina statehouse dome, Bessinger raised Confederate flags over all his restaurants. (By then, there were nine.) A king-sheet-size version went up over the West Columbia location, where he had long distributed tracts alleging, for example, that “African slaves blessed the Lord for allowing them to be enslaved and sent to America.” He was a figure whose hate spawned contempt, leading a writer from the Charleston City Paper to fantasize about how “Satan and his minions would slather his body in mustard-based BBQ sauce before they dined.”
If I asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said faster horses --Henry Ford
Without wood, barbecue wouldn’t be barbecue -- Aaron Franklin
Freedom demands that those in power allow others to think for themselves.
I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider