Mississippi Barbecue

Always on Sundae
Gary D. Ford

Though barbecue is less likely to stir a feud in Mississippi, an inquisitive eater who stops off at Westside on the outskirts of New Albany had best not make the mistake of saying that their smoked pork sandwiches, gilded with a vinegary sauce, are reminiscent of those served at Old Clinton in Gray, Georgia. Any Mississippian with a lick of pride and a taste for ’cue will tell you that pit masters in this state have honed their own traditions. To prove the point, they will send you on a weekend tour of the roadside rib joints of The Delta. Or they will suggest gnawing a bone at Goldie’s Trail in Vicksburg, where you might detect a hint of Texas twang in the smoky slabs they serve.

Alumni of Ole Miss and Mississippi State often taste the warm memory of barbecue. Nancy Dorman-Hickson recalls dining at The Little Dooey in Starkville, Mississippi. From his Ole Miss days, Foods Editor Scott Jones fondly remembers the BBQ Sundae served at the Rebel Barn BBQ in Oxford. An entrée, not dessert, the sundae layers pork, slaw, and baked beans, all covered in thick, sweet red sauce.

Mississippi Barbecue Napkins
To clean sticky sauce from your hands, pick and tear a few sassafras leaves, which release a citrus-like aroma, and rub them all over your hands. Tom Pharr, co-owner of Anchuca Mansion & Inn in Vicksburg, found the leaves to be a convenient cleanser when he attended the annual Redbone United Methodist Church reunion. "They are good for barbecue sauce and chicken grease," he reports.