From Barbecue Digest: Cook the opossum, spare the bear, a reader named Simon advises:
I gotta say, I've had opossum, and it was delicious. You gotta parboil it first – let the grease rise to the top, but then you take it out and smoke it, basting it as you go in a part vinegar part tomato sauce, kind of like Piedmont of Western North Carolina style BBQ sauce. It might be OK with just a vinegar base like in Eastern North Carolina, but I haven't tried that.
Last year, when Oregon Health Authority officials announced they would adopt the 2009 FDA Retail Food Code, restaurateurs suddenly faced a piece of legislation that would prohibit foodservice workers to touch prepared food with their bare hands. The gloves came off.
The no-bare-hands rule was originally supposed to go into effect on July 1, but Oregon public health officials delayed the decision because of public debate that these new safety rules were not actually safe.
The rule would have prohibited food handlers from contacting “exposed, ready-to-eat food” with their bare hands. Instead, any contact would have to be made with “suitable utensils,” including deli tissue, spatulas, tongs and single-use gloves.
Wednesday, regulators of Oregon's Foodborne Illness Prevention Program announced that “…at this time, the ‘No Bare Hand Contact’ section of new food safety rules will not be adopted.”
Editor's note: All summer long, the Southern Foodways Alliance will be delving deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of barbecue across the United States. Dig in.
Today's barbecue joints tend to serve just one or two kinds of meats, with pork predominate in the Carolinas and Georgia and beef the star out in Texas and Kansas City. Not so in the old days.
Back when barbecues were large-scale community affairs, the meat served was whatever people had on hand and could donate to the cause. Lists like the following, from a description of an 1868 barbecue in Spartanburg, South Carolina, were par for the course: "beef, mutton, pork, and fowls were provided in superabundance."
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