Sunday, April 28, 2013

The (Re)-Emergence of Yankee 'Cue

Curtis Tuff cooking ribs at Curtis' All-American
Bar-B-Q, Putney, Vermont
A week or so ago, Warren Johnston of the Valley News in West Lebanon, New Hampshire, interviewed me for a piece that just came out on the resurgence of barbecue in New England.

Ten years ago you couldn't find barbecue of any sort in his corner of Vermont and New Hampshire, Johnston reports. Now there are "at least four retail smoke houses, four restaurants and a couple of stands selling barbecue prepared after long hours of slow cooking over low, smoky hardwood fires."

Here's a New England twist that I've not heard of before but seems like a sure-fire winner: cooking over maple wood. Johnston describes the cooker in front of the Route 4 Country store in Quechee, Vermont, as "wafting maple smoke and the aroma of slow-cooking pork and beef into the air." That's the sort of Yankee ingenuity I can get behind.

For the piece, I provided a little historical background on barbecue in New England, which (believe it or not) actually had a thriving barbecue tradition in the 18th century that totally fell off the map after the American Revolution. Now, after a two-century hiatus, it seems to be making its way back.

And now I must go start the planning for my summer roadtrip to the wilds of Vermont and New Hampshire . . .

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