June 18, 2021

Debra Freeman

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How Black Pitmasters Created Midwestern Barbecue

"What whole hog and vinegar were to Eastern North Carolina and Virginia, meatpacking scrap and canned tomatoes were to the Midwest."

After Charla Draper moved to Birmingham, Alabama, she found a taste of home at a barbecue joint called Big Daddy’s. “It was the best barbecue in the city,” says the writer and Illinois native, formerly a food editor at Ebony and Southern Living. “I tried some and said, ‘This tastes the way barbecue tastes in Chicago!’”

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