Getting Saucy in Charlotte

Posted May 9, 2012 at 12:01am

Convention season is almost upon us, y’all. And the Democratic Party is priming the pumps of our hunger by unveiling the official barbecue sauces of its nominating shindig.

The winning sauces were chosen via a blind tasting of dozens of entries.

Kathleen Purvis, food editor at the Charlotte Observer and one of the taste-off panelists, told HOH she leapt at the opportunity to work her way through the vinegary concoctions. “That’s so North Carolina specific … and it’s a hard one to get right,” she said of the signature seasoning.

Bottled sauces are one thing. But where might visiting conventioneers get a taste of hometown barbecue in action?

According to Purvis, barbecue aficionados should beeline for:

1. Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge (Shelby, N.C.): specializing in old-school, hickory-fired pork.

2. Lexington Barbecue (Lexington, N.C.): “If someone asked me to sum up N.C. barbecue in a single bite, this is what you’re gonna get,” Purvis said of the regional standard-bearer.

3. Bill Spoon’s Barbecue (Charlotte, N.C.): “It looks just like childhood to me,” the North Carolina native suggested.