11 June 2009

Familiar Food

When it comes to food, I'm not a traditionalist.  I don't buy into the idea that you have to drink beer with barbecue.  Sometimes I drink wine.  I also don't buy into the idea that barbecue needs to be served with a crappy slice of Wonder bread (though many great bbq restaurants do, indeed, serve crappy Wonder bread with their beautiful, tender, slow-smoked meat).  

I'm quite convinced that the majority of people (foodie and otherwise) aren't as interested in having food that tastes good as they are in having food that tastes familiar.  This is why people will argue long and hard about the "proper" way to smoke a brisket, and about whether Tennessee or North Carolina-style pork is "better".  The traditional barbecue community is afflicted with this love-of-the-familiar as much as foodies are.  That's why I was delighted to find this new book by a barbecue aficionado who clearly loves barbecue, but doesn't feel constrained by tradition.

Adam Perry Lang trained in world-class restaurants, before deciding to focus on barbecue, and as such brings a fresh perspective to barbecue.  His recipes are exciting, and look like good fun, including everything from leg of lamb to whole pig roasting, and everything in between.  The instructions included are sufficient for the beginner, so this could be a good introduction to barbecue (though many of the recipes do call for chile peppers that may be challenging to source locally).

I'm looking forward to cooking from this book, and will report back after I've made his beef brisket.  Stay tuned.

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