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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