January 2011—East Meets West, Tastefully
For the die-hard North Carolina barbecue lover, there is no in-between. It’s either eastern vinegar-based or western tomato-based sauce. But wait, perhaps east and west can meet and coexist . . . tastefully.
Three North Carolina State University students have shown that combining eastern and western barbecue sauces is not necessarily barbecue blasphemy. In fact, it’s a winning recipe.
A team of students representing the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences won the Taste of RMC Product Development Competition June 21 at the American Meat Science Association Reciprocal Meat Conference at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.
The team was made up of Daniela Bautista, a graduate student in food, bioprocessing and nutrition sciences, and Matthew Hudson and Edward Osika, both chemical engineering students who are minoring in food, bioprocessing and nutrition sciences, said Dr. Dana J. Hanson, associate professor and team advisor.
Hanson said the Taste of RMC contest is a major part of student participation in the annual meeting, and while taste is certainly important, presentation is a big part of contest judging. The N.C. State entry was called “The Q-tini,” pulled pork barbecue in a martini glass. The winning entry featured layers of baked beans and pork topped with creamy coleslaw. The finishing touch was a piece of pickled okra.
But Hanson said the secret was the sauce. The students combined the vinegar taste of Eastern North Carolina barbecue sauce with a Western North Carolina-style tomato-based sauce to thicken the mixture. The result was a winner, a first for N.C. State in the seven years the competition has been held. In fact, Hanson added, the sauce was so good, the students have discussed bottling and selling it.
Osika and Hudson represented Eastern North Carolina on the winning team. Osika is from Emerald Isle and Hudson from Fayetteville. Bautista apparently represented the west. She’s from Honduras.
North Carolina Meat Processors Association was organized to promote, develop, and maintain the advancement of the meat processing industry. The association is comprised of Processor Members and Associate Members, and overseen by an elected Board of Directors.