Going whole hog, scientifically speaking
October 21st, 2012
10:00 AM ET
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Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of barbecue across the United States. We'll be sharing dispatches live from their 15th annual Symposium "Barbecue: An Exploration of Pitmaster, Places, Smoke, and Sauce" in Oxford, Mississippi, over the next few days. Dig in.

This year's Saturday Viking Range Luncheon was prepared by chef Ashley Christensen of Poole's Diner in Raleigh, North Carolina. Ashley prepared a "Piedmont Root-to-Stem Harvest Feast," shaking up the weekend's theme by applying barbecue-inspired techniques to an all-vegetable meal. Of course, not everything was baptized in smoke, but the lunch did include coal-roasted sweet potatoes and beets. (Ashley picked up the coal-roasting technique on a recent trip even further south, in Uruguay, where she and the Fatback Collective schooled themselves on the asado.)

The lunch - from pimento cheese and homemade crackers to pumpkin hummingbird cake with peanut custard - was served family style, fostering the sense of a common table and opening up a space for conversation around the food.

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