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Book Review: The South’s Best Butts

June/July 2017 Issue
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The South’s Best Butts

Pitmaster Secrets for Southern Barbecue Perfection
By Matt Moore
(Oxmoor House; $24.95)

In Matt Moore’s new book, there are at least five photographs of him chowing down on barbecue. In one, he’s caught midbite into what looks like a pulled pork sandwich procured at a gas station in Alabama. In another, he’s gorging himself at a place called Big Butts BBQ in Leachville, Arkansas. These are just a tiny fraction of the glorious color photos shot while Moore traveled the South, documenting the people and places behind the region’s best barbecue. Moore visits legendary spots like Wilber’s in Goldsboro, North Carolina, emblematic of tomato-free eastern North Carolina barbecue, as well as newer places like Heirloom Market BBQ in Atlanta, which is run by husband-and-wife team Cody Taylor and Jiyeon Lee and, thanks to Lee’s South Korean roots, serves up kimchi slaw to go with its ribs. Beyond the lively writing that makes you feel like you’re along for the ride, there are the mouthwatering recipes. As the title suggests, many are for pork, but there are also recipes for chicken and turkey, plus tasty sides and sauces. A chapter called Sweet Things entices with rustic cobblers and pies, but it’s hard to imagine finding room for dessert after enjoying the hearty barbecue presented here.

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