Citizens, your beloved Dictator – the well-smoked and occasionally ash-covered TFD – is a huge fan of BBQ, embracing all of its delicious variations beyond the big 3 of North Carolina (East and West), Kansas City and Memphis-style!
Today, I share with you the 2nd-least known BBQ variant in the U.S. – found only in Northern Alabama! For the record, the least known BBQ style and certainly the most hyper-local is the mutton BBQ with black sauce found only in the area of Owensboro, KY!
Multiple types of barbecue styles practiced elsewhere in the South are popular in Alabama, but the state also boasts its own unique approach: white sauce barbecue. This type of barbecue is popular in north Alabama, especially in the area around Decatur. White sauce is a mayonnaise- and vinegar-based condiment used liberally as a sauce, marinade, and dressing. It varies widely in consistency.
Barbecue in eastern Alabama tends more toward the Carolinas style, with orange-colored barbecue sauces combining vinegar, mustard, and tomato. Pork is the most popular barbecue meat in east Alabama.
As noted on encyclopediaofalabama.org:
One emblematic aspect of Alabama barbecue is a white sauce of mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, black pepper, and salt. It was created in Decatur by Robert Gibson at Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Q restaurant in 1925. The white sauce has evolved from a kitchen staple to a table condiment, and its use has expanded beyond chicken, with diners often squirting it on pork shoulder. Originally, cooks dunked chickens in the sauce and employees joked that chickens were baptized in it.
Northern Alabama ‘Q is also unusual by its preferred meat – chicken (a logical choice given the region’s many chicken production farms and facilities). Smoked chicken drizzled with this sauce is truly a revelation of flavor and is well worth trying, my Citizens!
The sauce is also very tasty as a dunking sauce for pretzels, and my version of the classic quaternary of ingredients adds a bit of additional apple cider, some ground celery seeds as a heretical but delicious touch and ups the horseradish and garlic quotient to my taste.
Battle on – The Generalissimo
The Hirshon Northern Alabama White BBQ Sauce