Plenty of devoted barbecue lovers have discovered that banana pudding—by far the most common dessert served in barbecue joints in the South—possesses a truly remarkable property. No matter how big a pile of pulled pork or ribs or brisket you manage to put away, and no matter whether you accompany it with a bowl of beans and half a pack of saltines or you made three trips back to the buffet steam-table to load up on macaroni and cheese, pork rinds, and other “vegetables”, there’s always room for a little banana pudding at the end of the meal. Smooth, sweet, and creamy, it slides right down and helps coat and soothe that groaning stomach.
But be careful, especially if you are dining in places like South Carolina where all-you-can-eat buffets are the norm. Too many rookies get lured in by how easy the first bowl of pudding goes down. They make their way back to the buffet for a second helping, and discover about 10 minutes later the second remarkable property of banana pudding: it expands in your stomach, compounding whatever bellyache you may already have inflicted on yourself with all the meat and sides.
I’ve known grown men who’ve had to loosen their belts and unsnap their pants once they get into their cars just to be able to drive home. When I was in graduate school, one of my friends (he was from Virginia and didn’t know any better), had to have someone else drive his car while he reclined the passenger seat and lay flat on his back, groaning the whole way back to campus.
You shouldn’t need a designated driver just to visit a barbecue joint. Know when to say when with the banana pudding.