Best Kept Secret in Lexington-Style BBQ

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Peru has over 4,000 varieties of potatoes. Like most of the world, the Peruvians also enjoy fried foods. So in the course of one of the oldest civilizations in the world, how did they never invent the French Fry? It seems like a fairly logical result – Potato + oil = awesomeness.

In Western North Carolina, whole skin-on shoulders are cooked over hardwood embers for hours until the flesh is meltingly tender.  In the process of doing this, skin exposed to the heat continually renders fat and becomes deeply flavored with hickory and soul-echoing crunchy. So how does one serve such a culinary delight? An item that can only be crafted by time and hand fired wood heat? Well they don’t. For the most part the skins go into the trash!!

Now this isn’t the end of the world but it does seem very very odd. It’s like peeling the crust off a pie and throwing it out so that you can eat the filling. Interesting enough, when you head down to South Carolina, skins are definitely a menu item. In certain places in the Palmetto State, there is a limit on how much skin you can take.

The best kept secret when eating BBQ in the Piedmont region (Greensboro/Winston-Salem area) is to ask for some of the crispy skin. It’s not likely that they’ll charge you as it’s going in the trash anyway and you’ll be enjoying perhaps the best thing off the pit.

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