BBQ Guru Skewers DNC’s Sauce Contest

Posted May 9, 2012 at 1:57pm

The merchandising folks at the Democratic National Committee are probably already licking their lips, thinking about the extra cash they’ll rake in from the sale of the “Charlotte in 2012 BBQ Trio.”

But after getting a behind-the-scenes peek of the sauce selection process, barbecue legend Ardie Davis is getting politically active and demanding satisfaction.

Davis, founder of the American Royal International BBQ Sauce, Rub and Baste Contest and co-author of, among other grilling-related titles, “America’s Best Ribs,” wants the world to know that the DNC’s blind-tasting panel is pure hogwash.

“In my humble opinion, the results should be declared invalid — or, for the sake of truth, justice and excellence in barbecue — the winners should be declared ‘best sauces on a plastic spoon,’” Davis argued, stressing that “valid judging” of any barbecue sauce necessarily includes sampling said product slathered on actual meat.

“If you haven’t tasted it on real barbecue, it hasn’t been properly judged,” Davis warned.

Procedural reservations aside, Davis told HOH he had not yet tasted any of the “winning” sauces.

He noted that “[12 Bones Smokehouse Sweet Tomato] has been highly recommended to me by friends who know their BBQ,” an endorsement that helped land the contender on his to-do list. Davis also pledged to seek out the Q2U Bar-B Que and Carolina Pig Pucker entries when next he finds himself in Charlotte.

Davis sounds like a genuine fan of traditional North Carolina-style barbecue, praising the confluence of vinegar-spiked sauces and hardwood smoking as wondrous elements.

“The signature flavor — sweet meat balanced with sour sauce — is a great combination,” he said of the state’s iconic pulled pork.