Drawing on hundreds of historical and contemporary sources, author, competition barbecue judge, and award-winning barbecue cook Joe Haynes documents the delectable history of barbecue in the Old Dominion in his book, Virginia Barbecue: A History.
With more than 400 years of history, Virginians lay claim to the invention of southern barbecue. Native Virginian Powhatan tribes slow roasted meat on wooden hurdles or grills. James Madison hosted grand barbecue parties during the colonial and federal eras. The unique combination of vinegar, salt, pepper, oils and various spices forms the mouthwatering barbecue sauce that was first used by colonists in Virginia and then spread throughout the country.
Today, authentic Virginia barbecue is regionally diverse and remains culturally vital.