A Smoke for Every Beef: An Exploration of the Regionality of Texas Barbecue
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It is a common misconception that Texas barbecue is a uniform and homogenous style rather than a diverse series of regional variations and traditions. East, South, and Central Texas each have numerous ecological, physical, and cultural regions, and it is where and how these regions overlap that influence their respective regional variations and traditions. In this paper, I trace the various traditions for barbeque in Texas as well as the historic and geographic processes that influenced their creation. Using popular literature such as cookbooks and travel books in conjunction with scientific and demographic data, I construct a base of knowledge that can be synthesized and applied to future research. As most popular texts on Texas barbeque focus on Central Texas, this paper necessarily neglects other regions relative to its coverage of the Central Texas regional tradition. Nevertheless, this paper provides an account of the state of Texas barbeque and serves as a guide to further research in this vein.