Bo Carter: Pigmeat Is What I Crave [purchase]
I can admit that a perfectly smoked brisket is an amazing thing, burgers from the grill can be great, and smoked chicken wings are wonderful, but at the end of the day, the best meat to barbecue is pork. Pork ribs, smoked until they almost, but not quite, fall off the bone. Pork butt slow cooked until it falls apart into shreds that melt in your mouth. Pork belly cured and magically turned by time, heat and smoke into bacon. There’s nothing better. Although I suspect my kosher grandma is spinning wildly in her grave.
The picture above is from Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint in Nolensville, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville, which is famous for their whole hog ‘cue. They only do that on the weekend, which was unfortunate, because we went there on a weekday night. When we arrived, they were almost out of food—we got the last two racks of ribs, one dry, and one wet, and most of the remaining sausage, leaving pretty much nothing for the poor guy who got on line after us. The food was great, and it was interesting comparing the dry ribs with the wet. I liked them both. A lot.
I’ve cooked a fair amount of pork this summer, mostly St. Louis style ribs and pulled pork, and considering my limitations (not buying fancy meat, using commercial rub and an electric smoker), the results have been delicious, and well received.
There’s something about the blues and barbecue that go together, probably because of their common southern based traditions. There is also a long tradition of blues songs that contain double entendres, and our featured song fits into both categories. Bo Carter, who wrote and performed the song, was really named Armenter Chatmon, and was a member of a well-known Mississippi musical family. But as Bo Carter, he was best known for songs that were meant to titillate, while ostensibly not about sex. A few of his song titles will give you an idea: “Banana In Your Fruit Basket.” “Don't Mash My Digger So Deep.” “Pin in Your Cushion.” “My Pencil Won't Write Anymore.” And "Your Biscuits Are Big Enough for Me." Beyond the sexual innuendo, his singing and guitar playing are also wonderful.
So, while there is nothing in the song that directly would get it banned from a family oriented radio station, I suspect that Bo isn’t talking about pulled pork. If you know what I mean.
The Old Farts Counter Offensive
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