Anyone who is a true aficionado of barbecue will tell you that some of the best 'cue in town is that made for fundraisers. Folks who have a passionate love of the process volunteer time and effort to make thousands of pounds of barbecue to be sold in one or two days.
This is the case for Boy Scouts of America Troop 355, who will be selling their "Best in the Galaxy" barbecue at Sharon United Methodist Church, 4411 Sharon Road (across Sharon Road from SouthPark Mall). Pitmaster Gary Swanson says this year they will cook 12,000 pounds for this event, 1,000 pounds more than last year.
For the days before the event, the tantalizing aroma of barbecue is on the breeze throughout the neighborhood. North Carolina barbecue is all about the taste of the meat, not the sauce. Swanson uses hickory to smoke the meat and actually builds a fire in the cooker.
Lunch and dinner will be served on Friday, Jan. 21 from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. A plate with barbecue, slaw and beans, or two sandwiches is $9. Barbecue is also sold by the pound (it freezes well) for $10 from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Friday and 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday. Keep in mind that the barbecue has sold out before closing in the past. Another find here is the selection of homemade sauces, especially the tasty Eastern-styled vinegar-based sauce. Last year I watched a woman buy a six pack of these sauces. A bluegrass band will play Friday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Looking for a food you can't find? Or do you know of other food items unique to the Q.C.? Whether it's regional foods or international, talk to me: firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-522-8334, extension 136.