The hubbub last week over sickly looking “Brooklyn Barbecue taking over the world” may have blown over, but North Carolina’s favorite food appears to be facing a more potent threat from California.
A chef with the Black Sugar Rib Company in Los Angeles has dubbed himself “the meat whisperer” and claims to have remade the art of barbecue – with a 5-hour glazed and smoked alligator.
OutdoorHub recently wrote about his creations and questioned how the restaurant had the audacity to claim Carolina barbecue can’t compare. (The article dubbed North Carolina one of the “kings of BBQ.”)
“Black Sugar Rib Company’s barbecue is different,” Black Sugar Rib Chef Arnold Rodriguez told OutdoorHub. “We are not relatable to Texas, we’re not relatable to Kansas City, we’re not relatable to Carolina...LA is extremely diverse. We try to cater to all cultures, all diversities, where we can make everbody happy.”
Apparently, they’re most happy eating smoked alligator with the head still on it.
News of his different kind of barbecue comes not long after an article republished this month in Munchies.com declared a sickly looking meal called “Brooklyn barbecue” was poised for world domination. “Brooklyn BBQ is spreading to every corner of the world,” said the article. Twitter exploded with mockery of the idea, and N.C. Senate Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, called for a “Bipartisan Defense of N.C. Barbecue” in response to the claim.
This new threat from LA is more formidable, however. Rodriguez coats a full-bodied gator from head to tail with a thick, sweet-and-spicy dry rub and then places it in the smoker to cook for five hours.
Video from a recent public event outside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum showed a crowd of people filming him with their phones as he cooked. And they all seemed to love the taste.
North Carolina’s newly approved alligator hunting season comes in September, giving us a chance to catch up with our own version.