A Chef’s Take on Barbecue

April 1, 2011 No Comments

Aaron Banks, director of food service for Carowinds Park in Charlotte, N.C., dishes on pulled pork, the southern tradition and why barbecue is so popular at theme parks today:
Tourist Attractions & Parks magazine: What type of barbecued foods do you offer?
Aaron Banks: Carowinds offers a wide variety of barbecued foods, including hand-pulled pork, barbecue chicken and ribs.
TAP: What are your bestselling dishes?
Banks: Our bestselling dish is definitely the tomato-based hand-pulled pork.
TAP: Why is barbecue so popular these days?
Banks: Here in the South, barbecue is a staple, especially in the summer. And we here at Carowinds embrace our guests’ love for this classic favorite by offering barbecue in several ways.
TAP: How do your dishes tie into the local food heritage and culture?
Banks: Barbecue is well-known and often enjoyed throughout the southern states. Charlotte, N.C., is in the middle of Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia and Arkansas – which makes up the Southern food region.  
TAP: What are your secrets for always serving up the best barbecue?
Banks: Our number-one tip is to know your barbecue region. For example, eastern North Carolina is known for its vinegar-based barbecue, while the central and North Carolinas are known for their tomato-based dishes. Southern South Carolina is famous for its mustard-based barbecue. Also, you always want to slow-cook your pork with the fat cap facing up. This keeps the pork moist while smoking it. And hand-pull your barbecue. This gives it a very nice look and shows that you take time to create the best product.

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