I feel like regional tastes are like accents in that everyone thinks they don’t have one, or they only realize they do once they’re thrown in another part of the country or world for a long period of time. I’m not sure what the regional cuisine of the northeast is. New England clam chowder? Lobster? I don’t really know. I still feel like we don’t have one even though I just said that’s what everyone says and it’s not true.
Barbecue is a glorious element of American culture that varies greatly by region. Again, in New England, I feel like we’re not allowed to pretend we know anything about barbecue. I envy southern food culture quite a bit. The process of barbecuing– marinating, dry rubs, smoking, basting, mopping, different cuts of meat and all that– is quite complex and always different depending on location. I will not delve into the lengthy specifics of these special and delicious traditions, but here are main bbq sauce styles just FYI:
Kansas City- Sweet, tomato based
Memphis- Tomato and vinegar based (therefore tangier)
Texas- Tomato based but spicy
South Carolina- Yellow mustard and vinegar based
Wow! So plentiful, and there are many more. The bottled kind you usually see in the store in the northeast is typically Kansas City style. But thanks to the Neely’s of the hit Food Network TV show Down Home with the Neely’s, you’ll never purchase a bottle of bbq sauce again! They are from Memphis, so that’s what the sauce tastes like: sweet and tangy, and I add a little more black pepper than the recipe to make it a bit spicy as well. I usually make a double batch, which is what you see in the jar below.
I AM OBSESSED WITH THIS BARBECUE SAUCE.
That’s all I have to say about that. I love this sauce. Here’s the recipe.
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 5 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
- 1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Dump everything in a saucepan, stir, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for a little over an hour, stirring every 10 minutes. Just keep an eye on it. It will reduce down and get thicker. If you cook it even longer, it will get EVEN thicker! So good.