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VA is for BBQ Lovers!

February 15, 2024

Virginia is for Barbeque Lovers

As the first colony, Virginia was also the first in what is now known as the USA to do many things. We had several of the first presidents, the first elected government, and, believe it or not, the first barbeques! Though the state is full of different barbeque styles (many of which we serve!), it also has its own barbeque culture. In short, Virginia is for barbeque lovers. 

What Is Barbeque? 

Southwest Virginia’s low cost of living, proximity to both nature and cities, and relatively mild climate have created the desirable conditions to attract people from all over the country. In fact, Due South owners Roop and DJ Singh immigrated here all the way from India! This melting pot means that not everyone here thinks the same thing when they hear the word barbeque. 

Or should we say barbecue? Or BBQ? 

If you’re from up north, a barbeque is a gathering. You may also think of it as a grill. If you’re from here or nearby, you may think of BBQ specifically as a smoked pork dish where the meat is first smoked and then simmered in a delicious sauce. 

Texans are more likely to call BBQ smoked meat. And Texas BBQ is typically beef-based. And that’s not even getting into the different types of sauces that typically define regional barbeque. 

In short, barbeque lovers of all kinds might have some confusion when speaking to each other if they don’t already have a basis of knowledge of the different things barbeque means to different people. 

Now Barbeque Lovers, Some Etymology

Maybe the best place to start is the origin of the word. Virginians were the first to use the term “barbeque” in the United States (then colonies). Politicians in the first elected colonial government, the House of Burgesses, would use barbeques to meet their constituents. 

But the word itself was not yet known here. “Barbeque” likely derived from the Spanish word barbacoa, a term now much more familiar to Americans thanks to the ubiquity of Chipotle. 

Back then, the English thought of smoking a whole animal as rather savage, and the proximity of the word barbeque to barbarian didn’t help! Today, however, barbeque is eaten in the UK, Canada, the US, Australia, Africa, and more, with regional flavors making their way into the tradition.

What Is Virginia BBQ?

So, barbeque lovers, what makes Virginia Barbecue distinctly Virginian? Well, according to the renowned chef and smoked meat luminary Joseph B. Hayes,  Virginia barbeque is typically vinegar-based, similar to Carolina BBQ, but it’s distinguished by the addition of   something that slightly dilutes the vinegar.” to the sauce. 

Often, that may involve mustard, which has been used in Virginia BBQ for centuries and is best exemplified in our Mustard Sauce. But it can also include fat, tomato sauce, and herbs. Different regions of Virginia have their own distinct flavor profiles.

The barbeque culture in Virginia grew up around whole hog roasting in the winter, so it’s most often associated with pork even today. 

We’ve Got What Barbeque Lovers Want!

No matter what kind of barbeque lover you are, Due South has the perfect barbeque for you! Our homemade sauces emulate the most popular barbeque styles in the US and include Kansas City, Spicy and Carolina. 

Pick your meat. Pick your sauce. And enjoy! 

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