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Issue 73 - Roll up for the bbq

Whisky Magazine Issue 73
July 2008


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Roll up for the bbq

Charles Cowdery lights for the fires for a perfect day out.

Kentucky is a magical place for me, especially if I time it just right.

I live in Chicago. In late April,we still worry about snow. In Kentucky, the dogwoods and redbuds are nearly in leaf, their white and purple blossoms just about spent, one last outburst against the coming greenness.

Flowering trees grow wild in Kentucky and they are everywhere in early spring.By late April, all is either in flower or already green, bright green,while everything in Chicago is still grey; dirty, sooty, dingy,Dickensian grey.

It will take two or three more weeks for spring to get up here, or I can drive straight to it in about five hours.

So how better to spend a perfect spring afternoon in Kentucky than outside,with a group of close friends, eating a selection of freshly and perfectly prepared barbecued meats, and drinking from a broad selection of fine Kentucky bourbons?

Okay, so maybe that's not everybody's idea of a perfect day, but for me it's hard to beat.

Barbecue is enjoyed everywhere, but like bourbon whiskey it is a product of the American South.There are many regional variations and a similar array of different spellings and abbreviations (barbecue, bar-b-q, bar-b-que, BBQ, etc.).

The Foodways volume of the New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture has separate and extensive entries for “Barbecue,Carolinas;” “Barbecue,Memphis and Tennessee,” and “Barbecue,Texas.” They might also have included Kansas City and western Kentucky, which have their own distinct sub-special...

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