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Barbecue Crossroads: Notes and Recipes from a Southern Odyssey Paperback – April 15, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* This is an homage to a way of life that, unless tended to, may very well pass away in the next decade or two. Ostensibly setting a goal to write about southern barbecue, former Houston Press restaurant reviewer Walsh (Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook, 2002; The Tex-Mex Cookbook, 2004; and others) and photographer O. Rufus Lovett meander through the southern states on a journey to capture the spirit and times associated with the whole hog (and sometimes less). It’s no “best of” list. Walsh spends time (and sometimes not) with all kinds of people, including preachers and hog-raisers, to get at the essence of barbecue. The color photographs alone demand the book’s size, as do the more than 80 recipes, some of which can be duplicated by home chefs, such as parched peanuts made using a microwave and plain paper bag and melt-in-your-eyes fried pies (never mind what the sugar and cholesterol counts are). Walsh explores the relationship between pits and pulpits, wanders to Memphis (spiritual home of this kind of cookery), focuses on the charms of beer and community feasts, and more with charm, ease, and a methodical pace, reminding us how life and barbecue need to be savored. --Barbara Jacobs --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

This is an homage to a way of life that, unless tended to, may very well pass away in the next decade or two…The color photographs alone demand the book’s size, as do the more than 80 recipes, some of which can be duplicated by home chefs, such as parched peanuts made using a microwave and plain paper bag and melt-in-your-eyes fried pies (never mind what the sugar and cholesterol counts are). Walsh explores the relationship between pits and pulpits, wanders to Memphis (spiritual home of this kind of cookery), focuses on the charms of beer and community feasts, and more with charm, ease, and a methodical pace, reminding us how life and barbecue need to be savored. (Barbara Jacobs Booklist)

Lovett's photography shows beautifully decaying signs, weathered hands stoking fires, embers glowing “deep in dark metal caverns, and barbecue platters of all varieties. It's the story of an American tradition that's endangered, for all that it's in vogue. One gets a sense of urgency from Barbecue Crossroads: preserve these traditions before it's too late. (Paula Forbes Eater.com)

Award-winning writer Robb Walsh captures life and culture like a Steinbeck of the South. The story of barbecue is layered and intimate…There are visceral pleasures: the freshly chopped pork sandwich eaten at a Formica counter, coconut pie eaten over the car hood. But Walsh, who has written extensively about the history of Texas food, always gives you something deeper to chew on…A masterful piece of documentation, the book is a labor of love and time — like barbecue itself. (Eve Hill-Angus Dallas Morning News)

In the end, you feel privileged to have been invited along and a whole lot smarter about not only smoked meat in all of its many guises, but this lovely and confounding part of the country. (Russ Parsons Los Angeles Times 2013-06-26)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 295 pages
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press (April 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0292752849
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292752849
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #442,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're looking for a book that will help you prepare REAL barbecue, (not that overly sweetened, foil wrapped, 'Guru' controlled competition style crap that every other book on the market offers), then this is the best book for you. It actually ranks right up there with "Smokestack Lightning" as the best "real" barbecue books available. The writers interview people who have more at stake than trying to become grand champion. The people in this book barbecue with passion, respect for tradition and a sincere desire to please their customers. An in depth look into the world of old school, true barbecue and the experts who prepare it properly. If you want another competition style barbecue book, this ain't it but you should read it anyway so you can gain an understanding of what barbecue really is.
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Format: Paperback
Robb Walsh is my favorite Texas Cookbook author. Despite the fact that I mainly eat vegetarian, I do live a stone's throw from the original Salt Lick BBQ, and we go there fairly often, as well as Cooper's in Llano and Stubs in Austin, and even the spot in the road down 290 where the guy converted a tractor to be a BBQ pit. I read the preview listed on amazon, and could not wait to get my hands on this book. Walsh and Lovett (the photographer) document their road trip across the south searching for genuine wood cooked pit BBQ. I have been super busy lately, but still could not put the book down, and read the entire book cover to cover. The book has many recipes of course, but it is also the story of the places they find, the people, the crafts and traditions, and how the BBQ itself differs from region to region. The pictures are beautiful, and they really make you want to go meet these people yourself, and taste their food. I absolutely love the fact that these two have documented a style of BBQ cooking that may be dying out. The story was riveting and I loved reading the book as well as the recipes.

The recipes sound so great that I am tempted to insult my husband's gas grill and go get a genuine offset wood burning BBQ pit and try some whole pork shoulders every once in a while. I love the sauce recipes, rubs, and sides like potato salad and hush puppies. There is also a terrific looking fried catfish recipe as well. The sweet potato pie looks amazing. And of course Walsh has a lot to say about cooking the meat, telling you each pit masters technique as well as how they burn down the wood and shovel the coals. I loved reading Walsh's thoughts on the BBQ cook-off TV shows, and politics and money of the cook-off circuit, as well as community BBQs that I will now have to seek out.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book. It is real cooking from cover to cover. I have so many sticky-notes on the pages of this book that it looks like nothing but flags. This book is worth every penny you will pay for it. It is loaded with information and while reading it you can almost "smell the smoke" from the pits. I absolutely recommend this BBQ masterpiece. What I enjoyed most was the chapter called PITS and PULPITS.
Wait until you read about Reverend Jeremiah "Baby J" McKenzie and Reverend Leroy Hodge. Both are men of God and both are pitmasters. I have never met them but I will bet that their theology and BBQ are top notch. And that is just one chapter in this magnificent book. Do you like the real deal? Gotta' get this book!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are familiar with robb's other books, you know what to expect from this one. An in depth, very readable and informative book about the history and current state of barbeque in the southern U.S. He has a lot of information about cooking techniques for those of you that want to try to duplicate the delicious sounding meals that he and his co-hort eat in this oddysey of meat, smoke and sauce. He does a great job of making you feel as if you are with him on his travels, you can see the people and almost smell the smoke. I rarely sit and read food books through like a novel, but I've been able to do that with every Robb Walsh book. Plus, I always wind up being able to amaze people with facts about food that they didn't know. Buy it, read it, you will enjoy it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Interesting concept to do a tour of different State's BBQ classic restaurants and include recipes. Have only tried a couple of the recipes but they have been tasty. Many of my favorite restaurants are included although some of my favorites in Texas and North Carolina are not there, but still all in all a fine romp through a land of BBQ.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Robb Walsh has done it again! A true wordsmith, historian and chef all rolled into one. I own every book he's written and this one might be his best. I especially enjoyed seeing the way BBQ changes around the country and how he captures the pictures, stories and the recipes- WOW! You'll swear the book smells like hickory smoke as you read it. Be sure to check out his other books on Texas BBQ and Tex Mex. He'll have you driving to Texas in the middle of the night.
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Very informative and refreshing read. Learned a great deal about a vanishing art. Looking forward to trying some of the many recipes included. Shall look up more by Robb Walsh
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this as a gift for a "serious BBQ" friend. His feedback was very favorable as to the content and style.
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