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« Friends and neighbors | Main | Profiles in courage »

Jul 28, 2011


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Billy Jones

I'm not surprised that NC ranks behind NJ in peach production. Breeds designed for northern climates can't stand our early/false Springs and breeds bred for southern climates can't handle our early/false Springs either. Southern Virginia and Northern North Carolina make up the No Peach Zone.

But BBQ? The only BBQ Tennessee is known for is Memphis and that makes up a very small portion of the Volunteer State. I think the author was grasping for a thread.

But isn't that what we've come to expect of Yankee writers when they try to write of the Southland-- typical New Yorkers think they know it all.

Billy Jones

PS. That's the reason my family grows apples.


I'll admit, our BBQ here is weird. Memphis gets my vote. Sorry NC...

Billy Jones

^ Traitor! ;-)


At least we all know BBQ is something you eat not something you "have" or "throw".
NE bias running rampant!

Preston Earle

Billy Jones wrote "But isn't that what we've come to expect of Yankee writers when they try to write of the Southland-- typical New Yorkers think they know it all."

This reminds of the time several years ago when I was at a business meeting in upstate New York. One of the people there was from Brooklyn, and when he saw I was from the South, he told me about his previous summer vacation. He was traveling "down south", had had muffler problems, and was pleasantly surprised to find a local southern shop that would honor his NYC warranty. I asked where he was when that happened and he said "Trenton".

Andrew Brod

Oh, so that's a peach by the interstate in Gaffney. I thought it was... well, never mind. Though I did wonder what that leaf was doing there.


As a native Tennessean (from the Eastern part), I have to say pulled pork is vastly superior to the minced stuff around here. I've ways liked the Lexington style sauce the best, though.

I know what you mean about the rivalry (or lack thereof) though. Huh?

Billy, we aren't known for it because we don't like to share, although if you're ever near Bristol, try Ridgewood BBQ. The Red Pig in Johnson City is pretty good, although a lot of folks prefer The Firehouse.

Billy Jones

I've dined at all 3-- good BBQ! Yes, chopped/minced does seem to be indigenous to NC. I'm a lover of all types of BBQ.

And to repeat something I've written before: My Daddy taught me to never order seafood between the Blue Ridge and the Rockies and never eat Q north of the Mason-Dixon line.

By the way, my family is from Ashe County on the NC/TN border. Lots of ties to the tri-cities.


Where in Upstate New York were you, Earle? I'm from Upstate NY, and I am always amused with how many people are an hour from NYC and think they are 'upstate'. I grew up 2 hours from Canada surrounded by dairy farms.

Sadly, I can't get into BBQ...it's not really the taste that I don't like but it's the texture. Every time I've had it it has just been stringy and chewy. Maybe I should try again...maybe I just got unlucky a few times.


Slow cooked pig with an unsweet spicy sauce works for me. Even SC style..........

Ian McDowell

I ate at the Firehouse in Johnson City when my dad was still alive. Three words: barbecued country ham.

No, it wasn't weird, it was great. And speaking of my late father, all my life, he talked about how much he missed the barbecued mutton that you can only get, or so it seemed, in Owensboro, KY, where he grew up, particularly that served by the Moonlite Barb-B-Q Inn. After he'd had his leg amputated and was back from the VA hospital, I found that the Moonlite is not only still in business, but has a website, so I sent him a pound of the chopped stuff and a pound of the sliced stuff.

He was delighted, but somewhat disappointed when my stepmother refused to eat it with him, sniffing "I just can't eat sheep!" (despite her American faux-Scottishness that led her knit clan tartans and attend the Highland Games). Fortunately, he still had some in the fridge when I visited him, the last time I saw him before he died, and we got to eat it together, but there's a part of me that still hasn't forgiven my stepmother for that.

Ian McDowell

In the early 00s, I was dating a writer who lived in LA. She identified herself as Jewish, but her parents had joined the Baba Meher cult (you know, the Who's "Baba O'Reilly")and dragged her off to India when she was a little girl. This left her with a life-long hatred of American Hippie Cultists, but an abiding love of India (she later turned this experience into the funny/horrific memoir ALL THE FISHES COME HOME TO ROOST, which threatened to make her persona non grata to Baba Lovers, as they call themselves, although fortunately they're not as dangerous to antagonize as Scientologists).

She kept telling me about how much she loved the "Roast Pork Pump" that a handwritten sign advertized om a restaurant near where she loved in LA, at the intersection of Thai Town and Little Armenia. She was, she put it "one Jew who digs the swine," so when she came to visit, I took her to Lexington Barbecue #2. She loved it, but found it very similar to the "Roast Pork Pump" she knew from that one little place in LA (I don't recall if it was Thai or Armenian, but probably the latter).

Ed Cone

AB: captions speak volumes.

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