Players: Rick Perry, Texas Governor and Republican 2012 hopeful; Paul Thornton, a writer for the Los Angeles Times; North Carolinians who prefer their barbecue to be pork and are known for "smoking the whole hog and dousing it with a vinegar-based sauce (Western North Carolinians are known for a tomato-based sauce)"
The Opening Serve: On Friday The Raleigh News & Observer's "Under the Dome" blog uncovered an incendiary comment by Rick Perry. They report in the book, Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue, the promising Texas politician was served Eastern North Carolina Barbecue at the Republican National Convention in Houston. "I've had roadkill that tasted better than that," Perry was quoted as saying. The quote incited swift outrage from North Carolinians who live and breathe barbecue. "While we acknowledge Texas-style barbecue is different from Eastern North Carolina Bar-B-Q," wrote Richard Averrite of the Smithfield's Chicken 'N Bar-B-Q chain. "We are stunned that you feel barbecue from the Old North State pales so greatly in comparison." Averrite sent two pounds of Bar-B-Q, a pound of slaw, and a pound of hot sauce to the governor. The Charlotte Examiner's Jeffrey Weeks wasn't as diplomatic. "Rick Perry is not fit to be president of the United States," wrote Weeks. "In fact he is apparently not fit to be a guest in my house. I hereby demand that the Republican Party renounce him now and quickly throw this so-called candidate out of the race, revealed as the utter fraud that he obviously is." He continued, "Gosh darn it, Eastern NC BBQ tastes great. It’s like sunshine on a rainy day, or a perky kiss from a pretty girl, or the dance of a catfish hanging on the end of your line." He continued: "Now I have heard that Texans like to drink a lot, and I guess it must be true, because only a state full of drunken cowboys could come up with the crazy idea that you make BBQ out of cows. People of America, you make steaks out of cows. Read my lips, BBQ comes from a gosh-darned pig."