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26th Annual Barbecue Festival

Submitted by on October 13, 2009 – 8:10 pmOne Comment

Lexington BarbecueLexington, North Carolina, has proclaimed itself the barbecue capital of the world, and wants to prove it during their 26th annual festival, set for 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. October 24, 2009. Check out an eight-block stretch of Main Street in uptown devoted to the fest. In addition to the barbecue, there’ll be more than 400 exhibitors sell everything from handmade crafts to homemade fudge.

Lexington’s first barbecue restaurant opened in 1919 – a tent in the middle of town set up by Sid Weaver. Soon after that, Jesse Swicegood opened a stand, too. Business was good, and both men trained other barbecue chefs, including Warner Stamey. Now there are over 20 barbecue restaurants in Lexington (a city of some 17,000 people). The development of barbecue in Lexington reads like a family tree, with today’s chefs using methods only slightly different from the ones Sid Weaver and Jesse Swicegood used over sixty years ago.

What makes Lexington barbecue so special? The fare is pork, of course – and shoulder is the cut of choice here. The pork shoulders are cooked long and slow (about an hour per pound) over hickory wood until it is fall-apart tender. The shoulders are basted with “dip”, a mixture of vinegar, ketchup, water, salt, and pepper. As the dip and fat drip onto the coals, smoke is created that rises up, surrounds and permeates the meat, and gives it a rich, smokey flavor. The meat is served chopped, although sliced can be requested, with more of the basting sauce on the side.

Lexington is located in the North Carolina Piedmont, about 20 miles south of Winston-Salem, at the intersection of US 29/70 and US 52.

One response to “26th Annual Barbecue Festival”

  1. della Lippold says:

    Most etymologists believe that barbecue derives from the word barabicu found in the language of the Taíno people of the Caribbean and the Timucua of Florida, and entered European languages in the form barbacoa. The word translates as “sacred fire pit.”..

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