Barbeque is a word of many meanings. In some places it is considered a verb and in others a noun. For the sake of simplicity I will be referring to it here in the latter sense.
Barbecue can be made of pork or beef and I suppose just about anything else in the way of meat. I don’t really know if there is such a thing as barbecue made from fish, but I would not be all that surprised if someone told me there was.
I have enjoyed barbeque that was made from beef but after living twenty years in North Carolina I tend to think of it as pig. Some may call it pork but I think we should be honest about what we are eating here.
Recently the pig itself has been suffering from a bit of negative publicity. I am referring to the most recent swine flu outbreak. I pray that this outbreak will be contained and that no more lives will be lost. But I do love to eat the pig.
Having just returned to North Carolina after a leave of almost four years I was glad to find myself rolling along I-40 and headed in the direction of Kernersville, NC as the lunch hour was approaching. Kernersville is the small town between Greensboro and Winston-Salem that has my favorite barbecue in the world and with that in mind I call the lunch hour any time they are open and I am nearby.
There is a major divide in terms of barbecue in North Carolina that is just as distinct and almost as fought over as the Civil War was some 150 years ago. On the eastern side of the state they slow cook their pig and serve it with a vinegar sauce that has hot pepper flakes in it and some brown sugar. In the western side of the state they use a more traditional tomato based sauce. This is the sauce that most resembles what is sold in supermarkets like KC Masterpiece or any one of a number of name brand commercially produced sauces. Most people prefer one over the other and it has been known to divide families. The dividing line in the state between these competing sauces is generally regarded as Lexington, NC and the western sauce is sometimes referred to as Lexington barbecue. Most restaurants sell one or the other and that is one of the reasons I really like Prissy Polly’s in Kernersville. They serve them both. The live together side by side in the same building and they act as a guide to the whole human race. There is no reason we can’t all coexist as well as these two different, yet equal, sauces do at this fine dining establishment.
Today I got a chance to eat at Prissy Polly’s for the first time in over four years and what a treat it was. I ordered the large barbecue plate with the eastern sauce. My wife chose a western style barbecue sandwich. We too are different but equal.
I love that stuff but that is far from the only reason to stop and dine at Prissy Polly’s.
You would think that beans are a side dish that would be hard to ruin and yet I cannot tell you how many times I have eaten in a lunch room or diner and been disappointed by my bean experience. They are usually just so bland and simple. It is a shame because they are not all that difficult to make really well. I know this because I have made beans many times and feel very confident in my recipe. Prissy Polly does them right.
The other great dish they do that goes so well with the barbecue is their collard greens. Once again, they are not all that difficult to make but somehow they are often made very bland and tasteless. Prissy Polly does them right.
I will miss the west coast and I hope I return again but I am going to enjoy myself living in the land of my favorite barbecue. I am back in NC. The pork industry should consider itself forewarned.
We finished our trek yesterday and are now staying with my daughter and her fiancée in Raleigh, NC. It is great to have a break from motel rooms and road food. It is fantastic to see our children and other relatives who are living in the Old North State. We were on the road for nine days and traveled a total of 3684 miles. I totaled our expenses at $1590.23. The quote to ship the car was over $1700.00 and we would have had to buy airline tickets to move ourselves. The trade off in time was more than worth it in our eyes because we will have the memories for the rest of our lives. To those of you who have followed the trip, thanks. To those friends we left behind, we look forward to the time when we see you all again.