“Barbecue Bus” Hits the BBQ Trail in South Carolina

Contributor
Barbecue road-trip set to traverse South in search of the best ‘cue

“Oink if you love BBQ.”

That’s what’s scrawled on the back of The Barbecue Bus, an “oral history machine” that’s currently traversing South Carolina in pursuit of the stories behind the finest of barbecued meat. It's like the pitmaster's version of a hippie's trippy 60's VW—but with a very different destination.

Manned by food historian Rien Fertel and his best friend, photographer Denny Culbert, the bus has been travelling all month as the duo documents the cultural history of barbecue in South Carolina and posts their findings on the bus’s blog.The team plans to trek through “all four of South Carolina’s sauce-varietal regions,” from the “mustard belt” in the state’s center, to the “peppery vinegar” northeast and the western “tomato-based hinterlands.”

The bus will ultimately hit Raleigh, NC to meet up with the Southern Foodways Alliance’s sold-out “High on the Hog” field-trip through eastern North Carolina’s whole-hog barbecue scene. The field-trip takes place as part of the SFA’s “Summer of Barbecue,” which leads up to their big symposium in Mississippi this October. As part of the celebration, mouthwatering photos and barbecue news will be blogged on the SFA site all summer long by an impressive roster of barbecue authorities, including Barbeque: The History of an American Institution author Robert Moss

Summer’s the perfect time to overdose on barbecue, so check out the blogs to virtually join the road-trip. Warning—you might just drool on your computer. 

We chatted with Fertel to get the full story behind the inspired social project that is the Barbecue Bus. Check out the Q&A here.