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Holy Smoke


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About the Author

JOHN SHELTON REED and DALE VOLBERG REED live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Both are members of the Southern Foodways Alliance and the North Carolina Barbecue Society. They have collaborated on other books, including 1001 Things Everyone Should Know about the South and Cornbread Nation 4: The Best of Southern Food Writing. WILLIAM MCKINNEY founded the Carolina BBQ Society while a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He now lives in Virginia.


A comprehensive and entertaining exploration of the Tar Heel barbecue tradition. . . . Holy Smoke is full of everything you might want to know about Tar Heel 'cue, and probably more.--The Weekly Standard

A dance through the legends, history, fables and reality of North Carolina barbecue. . . . While laughing along with the fun stories, don't forget to take the recipes seriously.--Edible Piedmont

Does the world really need another barbecue book?' The answer is yes, thanks to the book's dozens of useful recipes (some lending credence to the claim that three pillars of Southern cooking are sugar, salt and fat), hundreds of evocative illustrations and photos, and a narrative spiced with historical anecdotes.--The Wall Street Journal

Part cultural history, part cookbook, Holy Smoke . . . may be the best tome ever written about pulled pork.--The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

This heartfelt, thorough, witty compendium of the state's barbecue places, pitmasters, pig pickins, history lessons, tall tales and basic recipes makes me bone-deep homesick in a way I haven't felt in years.--Rachel Wharton, The Art of Eating

[A] funny, fantastically southern memoir of the infamous East-West brawl over North Carolina barbecue. . . . Everything we ever wanted to know about the history of the 'cue, the sauce, and the people behind this Tar Heel tradition.--Southern Living

A cultural and culinary history of barbecue . . . the book includes directions on shaping cornmeal into perfect hush puppies, a who's who of the region's pit masters, and mouthwatering photographs of sizzling pigs.--The Chronicle of Higher Education

A fine book, one that every Tar Heel, whether born and bred or merely welcomed and fed, needs to read carefully.--Tim Tyson, Raleigh News & Observer

Filled with history, interviews and all kinds of kooky heirloom Southern recipes, this is a lovingly curated book on the 'barbaculture' of the Tar Heel state.--Chile Pepper

Part-cookbook-part-manual . . . and an excellent guide to the Tar Heel state's distinctive interpretation of a great American cooking style.--The Christian Science Monitor

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