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America’s Most Political Food

America’s Most Political Food
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    Post #1 - April 17th, 2017, 2:51 pm
    Post #1 - April 17th, 2017, 2:51 pm Post #1 - April 17th, 2017, 2:51 pm
    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 . . .

    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.”

    America’s Most Political Food

    =R=
    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French

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  • Post #2 - April 18th, 2017, 10:48 am
    Post #2 - April 18th, 2017, 10:48 am Post #2 - April 18th, 2017, 10:48 am
    America’s Most Political Food


    well, that was interesting and depressing. halfway through the article i ran to my refrigerator to see if the SC mustard BBQ sauce i had was from the bessingers. i was prepared to throw it down the drain if it come from piggie park. but it's melvin's sauce, the bessinger who claims not to share the racist views of the original owners... so i'll keep enjoying it.... but thinking about it's heritage all the while.....
  • Post #3 - April 18th, 2017, 10:53 am
    Post #3 - April 18th, 2017, 10:53 am Post #3 - April 18th, 2017, 10:53 am
    I know that location well. The pig was a bigger beacon than the golden arches when I was a kid for folks.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #4 - April 18th, 2017, 7:38 pm
    Post #4 - April 18th, 2017, 7:38 pm Post #4 - April 18th, 2017, 7:38 pm
    Seems so long ago when Maurice's led to some heated discussion here.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #5 - April 19th, 2017, 9:33 am
    Post #5 - April 19th, 2017, 9:33 am Post #5 - April 19th, 2017, 9:33 am
    Kman wrote:Seems so long ago when Maurice's led to some heated discussion here.

    Oberweis Dairy and the Politics of Patronage
    This happens to be a locked thread, though still an interesting read.

    A few more mentions of Maurice's Piggy Park.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #6 - April 19th, 2017, 3:33 pm
    Post #6 - April 19th, 2017, 3:33 pm Post #6 - April 19th, 2017, 3:33 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:
    Kman wrote:Seems so long ago when Maurice's led to some heated discussion here.

    Oberweis Dairy and the Politics of Patronage
    This happens to be a locked thread, though still an interesting read.

    A few more mentions of Maurice's Piggy Park.


    Wow!
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #7 - April 26th, 2017, 3:11 pm
    Post #7 - April 26th, 2017, 3:11 pm Post #7 - April 26th, 2017, 3:11 pm
    A few years ago I was reading a dated bbq travel book Smokestack Lightning, and it has some notes from a visit to the restaurant in the early nineties.
  • Post #8 - May 4th, 2017, 12:22 pm
    Post #8 - May 4th, 2017, 12:22 pm Post #8 - May 4th, 2017, 12:22 pm
    IMHO, Smokestack Lightning remains a well-regarded classic. But maybe that's just me...
    Tnx for bringing it up!

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)

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