Anyone who doesn’t like good barbecue deserves a lump of charcoal in his stocking. Barbecue, like politics, should be local. So get your special someone a gift pack of some of the South’s best regional barbecue sauces:

Owensboro, Kentucky’s Moonlite Bar­-B-Q’s sweet tomato based sauce

The original white sauce (terrific on chicken) from Decatur, Alabama’s Big Bob Gibson

Ain’t nothin’ like Tuscaloosa’s Dreamland Bar-B-Que sauce

South Carolina mustard-based sauce from Shealy’s Bar-B-Que in Batesburg-Leesville

Classic Memphis sauce from Charlie Vergo’s Rendezvous

Eastern North Carolina sauce from Wilber’s Barbecue in Goldsboro

Far Western North Carolina sauce from Fat Buddies BBQ in Waynesville

Be sure to include some dry rub. Charlie Vergo’s Rendezvous has an excellent rub. So does New Market BBQ in Alabama.

I would be thrilled to find a package of Jim ‘n Nick’s Community Bar-B-Q’s famous cheese biscuit mix in my stocking.

Many of the places listed above will also ship barbecue. Or consider giving a cap or t-shirt from one of these restaurants. This one from Jim ‘n Nick’s is nice.

Finally, the best book I’ve read on barbecue is John Shelton Reed’s Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue.


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