Food & Drink

Curious SC asked: ‘Who do you think has the best BBQ?’ Here’s how South Carolina answered

Why do people get so defensive about BBQ in the Carolinas?

Charlotte Observer food writer Kathleen Purvis explains what happens every time she writes about BBQ - and tells us the one thing that astonishes her every time she eats a barbecue sandwich.
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Charlotte Observer food writer Kathleen Purvis explains what happens every time she writes about BBQ - and tells us the one thing that astonishes her every time she eats a barbecue sandwich.

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Nothing sparks an argument in the Carolinas quite like barbecue.

Stephen Colbert insulted North Carolina-style BBQ fans Tuesday night on his late night show with what North Carolina governor Roy Cooper said were “fighting words.”

In case you missed it, Colbert poked fun at North Carolina’s “vinegar” sauce, calling anyone who’s a fan “poor flavor-deprived bastards.”

Cooper fired back, telling Colbert that South Carolina had a “mustard” problem.

So we decided to ask y’all which part of the region has the best barbecue. We wondered if, thanks to presence of many Midwesterners migrating to the Palmetto State home, Kansas City BBQ would have an honorable mention or two.

So, the results?

It’s a tie!

Even for people who voted, deciding between North and South Carolina it’s split down the middle. Of course, there were a few people from the Midwest — maybe even other Southeastern states — who voted for Kansas City and Memphis-style.

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Sorry Texas and Alabama, we in the Carolinas just aren’t a fan it seems.

When we asked y’all why you picked your favorite, it turns out the sauce is what decides people’s palate.

There were folks who sided with Colbert’s earlier claim by writing, “Mustard-based is the best. Vinegar or peppery juice (not sauce, it’s too liquidy to be called sauce) is made by lazy people who can’t add pepper to vinegar and call it a sour sauce!” one reader wrote.

Harsh.

But of course, there were a few of you whose love of BBQ grows out of your love of your state.

One person who voted for Kansas City’s BBQ-style simply said: “Because it’s KC, duh.”

Of course, not only were there quite a few opinions on which region had the best barbecue, but which restaurants do it right, too.

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In South Carolina, Duke’s BBQ of Beaufort, Courtney’s BBQ in Clover and Dixie Pig of Rock Hill seem to have captured the most readers’ hearts.

But when it comes to barbecue, as one person said it’s not about where it comes from. It’s about connecting people with good food and a great time:

“We are such a diverse state and our BBQ reflects that diversity,” one South Carolinian wrote “No matter which type of BBQ you feel like enjoying that particular day, you can find, close at hand, some master smoker/cooker/BBQ-maker working to make you happy. Semper porcus!”

Have any other questions about the Palmetto State or story tips? E-mail our Curious S.C. reporter bsaunders@islandpacket.com.

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