Ya’ want vinegar and pepper with that?

Posted by Cindi Ross Scoppe on March 24, 2014 

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TRACY GLANTZ — tglantz@thestate.com Buy Photo

Thank goodness for Sen. Katrina Shealy, who finally has begun to take steps to correct an unimaginable wrong in our state: the unofficial status of barbeque.

By which I refer to the fact that, unlike milk (Official State beverage) and sweet tea (Official State hospitality beverage) and boiled peanuts (Official State snack food) and the peach (Official State fruit) and collard greens (Official State vegetable), barbecue is not an Official State anything.

So earlier this month, Sen. Shealy and eight co-sponsors introduced a resolution to name barbecue our Official State Picnic Cuisine.

The resolution is the model of neutrality, proclaiming that “South Carolina is unique in that it is the only state where one can find all four barbecue finishing sauces: vinegar and pepper, mustard, light tomato, and heavy tomato.”

It also includes such useful information as the fact that “South Carolina is ‘The Birthplace of Barbecue,’ ” tracing the food’s roots to the 1500s, “when Spaniard explorers first brought pigs to the New World” and “The local Native Americans taught the Spaniards how to cook the whole pig over low, indirect heat, which is the blueprint for creating modern-day American barbecue.”

Alas, the resolution raises more questions than it answers. Such as:

Who knew there were four kinds of barbecue?

What’s wrong with the 37 senators who have not signed on as co-sponsors? Including, I would be remiss not to note, the man who would be our governor, Sen. Vincent Sheheen. And he calls himself a leader?

Why has the Senate Judiciary Committee been sitting on this essential legislation for nearly two weeks now?

Most importantly: What? Picnic cuisine? Picnic cuisine?

Who even goes on picnics any more? And what sort of namby-pamby designation is that? For that matter, isn’t “cuisine” a bit … effete?

How about Official State food?

Because I checked, and as hard as it may be to imagine, South Carolina does not have an Official State food. And obviously, if we had one, it’d be barbecue.

Contact your legislators. Correct this travesty. Before it’s too late.

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