So, to all you magazines that ignore South Carolina mustard sauce style barbeque, get with it. Come on to South Carolina and write about one of the pillars of the barbeque culture in the United States. Barbeque is taken seriously here and has been for a very long time.
At the end of March we followed up by visiting Shuler’s again. Norton, Lynn and their son, Shuler gave us a tour. Norton’s grandmother was a Shuler, descended from one of those German immigrants. His father was called Shuler and his middle name is Shuler. Why am I telling you this?
Because it seems the best South Carolina barbeque comes from restaurants with multi-generational ownership.
Rodney Dangerfield famously said, “I get no respect”. He could have been talking about the barbeque of the Midlands of South Carolina. In this state, barbeque is a noun and refers to pork slow-cooked over smoking coals. Then the sauces, there are four types here, distinguish the styles of barbeque.
Charleston is an exciting place to eat and visit these days. I traveled there for a month last year and found myself perusing real estate listing in my spare time. However, I’d like to add something to that suggestion. Don’t try to navigate the food scene in Charleston (or neighboring Savannah, Georgia) without Holly Herrick’s on point compass, Food Lovers’ Guide to Charleston & Savannah: The Best Restaurants, Markets & Local Culinary Offerings. Trust me, this veteran food writer (www.hollyherrick.com) and restaurant reviewer won’t steer you wrong.
Upon arrival at Ella’s, a hand written sign declaring oyster roasts were in season greeted us. For Thanksgiving week this year, Melinda and I decided to head for the Carolina beaches to relive our youth. For lunch the first day we headed for Ella’s of Calabash, North Carolina, founded over sixty years ago and just across the border from South Carolina. When Ella’s was already twenty years old, I ate there with college friends. Going to “the beach”, where one danced the shag to beach music, drank beer, cruised up and down Ocean Boulevard, and met members of the opposite sex, was a rite of passage back then. Though Ella’s is now under third generation ownership, not much has changed.