It’s the most purely American food-and that’s maybe the
only thing about it everyone agrees on
You can’t get good barbecue in Paris, London, or Hong Kong, but you can get 18 varieties in Lexington, North Carolina, and 7 in Piano, Texas. Barbecue is the all-American food, particularly south of the Mason-Dixon Line. But American barbecue—whether it’s known as barbecue, BBQ, bar-b-q, ’cue, or just Q—is more than a way of cooking: It’s myth, folklore, and American history; it’s politics (like the time Texas Gov. W.
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