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10 BEST PODCASTS OF 2021 New York Times BEST FOOD PODCAST James Beard Awards, Webby Awards

A Quick History Of American Barbecue

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Jul 04, 2022
A Quick History Of American Barbecue

Barbecue is America’s culinary national pastime. Dozens of  books have been written about it, food writers criss-cross the country looking for the best places, and people wait hours to eat at the most famous spots. In his book The Cooking Gene, culinary historian Michael Twitty traces the path that barbecue traveled from West Africa to the American South — and how enslaved cooks in plantation kitchens created Southern cuisine. But the barbecue journey doesn’t stop there. During the Great Migration, Black Americans brought the foods they created in the South with them to places like Chicago. Dan visits Uncle John’s BBQ, just south of Chicago, to learn about — and eat — a type of barbecue that only exists there.

Check out Kevin Pang’s article about Chicago’s “barbecue divide” in Saveur.

This episode originally aired on December 10, 2018, and was produced by Dan Pashman, Anne Saini, and Aviva DeKornfeld. It was edited by Gianna Palmer and Kristin Torres, and mixed by Casey Holford. The Sporkful production team now includes Dan Pashman, Emma Morgenstern, Andres O’Hara, Tracey Samuelson, and Jared O’Connell.

Interstitial music in this episode by Black Label Music:

  • "Pong" by Kenneth J. Brahmstedt
  • "Karla's Melody" by Karla Dietmeyer and Olivia Ann Diercks
  • "Incidentally" by Kenneth J. Brahmstedt
  • "Can You Dig It" by Cullen Fitzpatrick
  • "Rooftop Instrumental" by Erick Anderson
  • “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” by The Platters
  • “Howlin’ Blues” by Howlin Wolf

Photo courtesy of Michael Twitty/Johnathan M. Lewis.

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