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Red, White & Barbeque

Nevin Martell | August 9, 2018


A Brief History of the Great American Tradition

The First Fast Food

Thanks to this tireless honing of techniques and recipes, barbeque entered a golden age that spanned the 1930s through the 1950s.

“It was the first fast food,” said Moss, who pointed out that many Americans were first introduced to barbeque when they took car trips through the South and stopped at roadside barbeque shacks for a meal.

Sadly, the tradition went into decline in the following two decades due to waning interest — both from diners who became infatuated with burgeoning chains, and children of barbeque owners who didn’t want to follow in their parents’ footsteps.

However, barbeque didn’t die out. The tradition smoldered until near the end of the 20th century, when barbeque competitions started a revival that eventually brought it back into the mainstream. Diners rediscovered barbeque at these live events, on food television and through social media. Today, the national restaurant scene is home to a number of time-honored barbeque joints carrying on the tradition — throughout the South — from Gates Bar-B-Q and Arthur Bryant’s in Kansas City to Kreuz Market in Lockhart, Texas, and Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas, — alongside newer concepts farther to the north, such as Blue Smoke in New York City, Federalist Pig in Washington, D.C., and Lem’s BBQ House in Chicago.

Barbeque is much more of a diffuse proposition as some joints offer a country-spanning menu of options or dishes that play up other influences from farther afield. “Restaurants are always trying to be edgy and satisfy guests,” explained Deutsch. That’s why diners might find Peruvian, Korean or Jamaican accents applied to the meat or sides.


The love of barbeque extends to the grocery store, where Lloyd’s Barbeque Company has been commanding a legion of followers for 40 years. Products like Lloyd’s® seasoned and shredded chicken in original sauce and Lloyd’s® seasoned and smoked St. Louis style spareribs in original sauce allow diners to indulge their love of barbeque year-round without spending hours at the backyard smoker.

No matter how barbeque aficionados choose to indulge in their passion, they have plenty of choices. Each offers a chance to celebrate one of America’s greatest culinary traditions.

Feeling Saucy

North Carolina

Vinegar is the backbone of this runny, assertive sauce, which is the perfect counterpoint to pulled pork.

South Carolina

To offset the richness of pork, mustard takes the lead, though its sharpness is balanced with a sweetener, such as molasses or honey.


Made with mayonnaise, cider, vinegar and plenty of black pepper, this white sauce is best applied to smoked chicken.


Though it has a thin consistency, this beef-basting sauce is packed full of flavor, which often comes courtesy of chili powder, cumin or pepper.

St. Louis, Mo.

A sibling to Kansas City’s sauce, this tomato-based condiment is runnier with a bolder vinegar edge.

Kansas City, Mo.

Ketchup and molasses lend sweetness and substance to this iconic sauce, while liquid smoke gives diner the impression that it, too, was forged in the smoker.

This article was featured in Issue VI of Inside Hormel Foods magazine. Click here to explore these unique collections of thought-provoking and heartwarming stories, recipes and features on our employees and the different areas of our company, all packaged up in a beautifully designed digital viewer for you.