While riding my motorcycle near Ellenton, FL this afternoon I drove by Hickory Hollow BBQ on Highway 301 and couldn't help but notice the description on the sign proclaiming something about serving authentic Virgina barbecue. I'm not familar with exactly what makes bbq in Virginia different than bbq in other states, but I couldn't wait to get home and "google it" to see if I could figure it out.
A search for Virginia BBQ returned information about a Virginia bbq restaurant franchise opportunity. For a $20,000 franchise fee they will sell you a franchise for their bbq concept. The Washington Post wrote an article about one of the first franchisees recently.
I found web sites about authentic Virginia hams from the Edwards family and a link to Alicia's Recipes, which has a recipe specifically for West Virginia barbeque. I've got to tell you that if Virginia bbq is like the western variety talked about at Alicia's, I'm not sure I want any because Alicia likes to cover her bbq meat with water, bring it to a boil, and simmer it until tender. Par boiling isn't my idea of authentic anything.
I also discovered the online home for the Silver Pig Barbeque, which has an interesting logo on their web page that reminds me of life on the family pig farm dating back about 25 years.
I tried and tried, but apparently Google hasn't discovered authentic Virginia barbecue yet, because after 30 minutes of searching, I did not find the essence of what makes Virginia so much different than Florida bar-be-que.
I think the folks at Hickory Hollow Barbecue need to review their marketing techniques. I wonder how many others like me don't really know Virginia bbq from any other 'ole bbq sold on the side of the road. Other than the owner being from Virginia, I haven't the slightest idea what it really means.
Can you help a BBQ guy out, and help me understand?