Smokelore

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 02 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

Disclaimer: I received an advance copy of this book via NetGalley.

Smokelore is a book that explores the history of barbecue across America. There are some interesting pictures along the way (as this book travels across time and state lines) - these keep things interesting and break up the pace of the book. This book delves deep into the history and diversity of barbecue, and it does so at just the right pace and depth of information to keep the average reader interested. Whenever it seemed like the pace was dragging, a breakout section of pictures or a recipe would provide enough fun context to keep things going.
I never felt like I was getting a history lesson, and I even noted a few restaurants that I will want to try in the near future. Another fun element to the book is that it is in line with an exhibit at the Atlanta History Center (on the history of barbecue). I toured this exhibit in April (not knowing about the book), so this was a nice surprise, and I recognized elements of the exhibit within the book (like pictures of Billy Possum).
I would recommend this book to anyone that is interested in food, barbecue, or any kind of American heritage. It's a nice tour through something that has become uniquely American.
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This book is packed with information about barbecue. A fascinating read with wonderful pictures and illustrations. I feel like I have a much better appreciation for barbecue and understanding of the traditions surrounding. If you are a fan of barbecue, as I am, highly recommend this book. 

Advance digital copy provided by #netgalley but opinions are my own.
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When it is hot as heck outside and there is nothing cool to do but reading as everything else makes you end up a sweaty mess, it is the perfect day for a speed reader.	
		
I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  			

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.			

Barbecue: It’s America in a mouthful. The story of barbecue touches almost every aspect of our history. It involves indigenous culture, the colonial era, slavery, the Civil War, the settling of the West, the coming of immigrants, the Great Migration, the rise of the automobile, the expansion of suburbia, the rejiggering of gender roles. It encompasses every region and demographic group. It is entwined with our politics and tangled up with our race relations.
Jim Auchmutey follows the delicious and contentious history of barbecue in America from the ox roast that celebrated the groundbreaking for the U.S. Capitol building to the first barbecue launched into space almost two hundred years later. The narrative covers the golden age of political barbecues, the evolution of the barbecue restaurant, the development of backyard cooking, and the recent rediscovery of traditional barbecue craft. Along the way, Auchmutey considers the mystique of barbecue sauces, the spectacle of barbecue contests, the global influences on American barbecue, the roles of race and gender in barbecue culture, and the many ways barbecue has been portrayed in our art and literature. It’s a spicy story that involves noted Americans from George Washington and Abraham Lincoln to Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley, Martin Luther King Jr., and Barack Obama.

Barbeque is a divided subject as so many people (Canadians for sure) call grilling barbeque. It is not barbeque … it is grilling. BBQ involves smoking and sauces and this book is the perfect way to explain it to people. 	
It is not boring – it is filled with fun facts and beautiful photos: it made me so hungry I went out for food halfway through reading the book. This is the perfect book for the grill master in your life and would be a wonderful book to gift along with some BBQ tools and sauces at a wedding show or birthday. 
			
As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "Social Influencer Millennials" on Instagram and Twitter) so let's give it πŸ– πŸ– πŸ– πŸ– πŸ–
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Smokelore by Jim Auchmutey is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-July.

Quite a storied and epic-sounding narrative for a book on the history of BBQ, tracing its lineage between South american, the Caribbean, then into the deep south by way of Florida, and offers chapter-specific adjacent recipes adapted for the modern-day (albeit not cannibalistic ones). It also goes over regional proclivities, preferred sides and sauces, ways of preparing different types of meat en masse (for a giant celebratory crowd). Pork parts vs Brisket vs pulled pork sandwiches vs ribs. vs devices to cook meat (i.e. grills/broilers), racial divide then the integration of BBQs at home and at restaurants, competitions, appearance of BBQ in pop culture and music. It's a decent book, yet it's jumbled together mish-mashedly.
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Overall an entertaining read covering a wide swath of barbecue history in America.  A star was deducted due to the recipe for barbacoa not being actual barbecue but rather a slow-cooker facsimile.
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I love BBQ! This was a funny and factual book about BBQ. What could be  a better read for summer than this? And it even has some recipes. I kind of imagine cooking over an open fire predates our indoor kitchens and ranges, so I have always assumed most people in the world are cooking over open fires. Still, I enjoy reading about BBQ in the new world. It's fun to read how our ancestors cooked out! Though, I am sure I will pass on iguana, too! AND squirrel!  No thanks! Entertaining look at the history of BBQ. Buy one for the grill master in your life. It will make a most welcome gift, I'm sure!
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