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3 min Read
Published August 21, 2016

Eastern or Western BBQ: 10 Dire Southern Food Debates

Here in the South, we love our food, and our recipes are part of our heritage! Growing up in North Carolina, I’ve seen friendships ripped apart over which type of BBQ is the “real” kind, or on whether true Southern folk dine on banana and peanut butter or banana and mayonnaise sandwiches. If you’re from around here, I’m sure you’ve heard the same debates.

So let’s settle them once and for all! Leave your answers in the comments, and let’s see what real Southerners eat.


1. Eastern BBQ vs. Western BBQ

Eastern or Western BBQ--10 Dire Southern Food Debates - 1This is the classic Carolina debate: Eastern, vinegar-based BBQ, or Western, ketchup-based BBQ. As a true North Carolinian, I’m supposed to support vinegar. But I don’t. I like ketchup-based. Sorry, ya’ll!



2. Banana and Mayo Sandwich vs. Banana and Peanut Butter Sandwich

Eastern or Western BBQ--10 Dire Southern Food Debates - 2I have fond, nostalgic childhood memories of both of these sandwiches. My Grandma would make me peanut butter and ‘nana, but my mom always made them with mayo. I’m a fan of peanut butter, personally. Way healthier!


3. Mater and Mayo Sandwich vs. Fried Green Tomato and Pimento Cheese

Eastern or Western BBQ--10 Dire Southern Food Debates - 3My Grandmother, born and raised and five generations deep a Carolinian, loves Mater and Mayo (tomato and mayonnaise) sandwiches, with a pinch of pepper! I was never able to get into those soggy red and white lumpy messes. I’m a big fan of pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes! I can eat pimento cheese by the spoonful!


4. Pepsi vs. Cheerwine

Eastern or Western BBQ--10 Dire Southern Food Debates - 4Uh oh. Both of these mega-cola companies were founded in North Carolina. Pepsi’s first bottling franchises started in Durham and Charlotte in 1905, and Cheerwine started in Salisbury in 1917. How can a true native choose between them? Easy! Cheerwine’s cheery, cherry flavoring and bright color gives it the edge. Winner winner, chicken dinner.


5. Grits and Butter vs. Grits and Syrup

Eastern or Western BBQ--10 Dire Southern Food Debates - 5No one should eat grits. Ever. But for those of you who do eat grits, I’ve seen a lot of arguing over the merits of butter and salt versus syrup or sugar. Syrup and sugar are for pancakes, folks. I side with this blog, who says you should never trust anyone who serves their grits sweet.

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  • heather


  • I sincerely believe that through the power of storytelling, I can make social issues become more than a set of statistics. My expertise is in community leadership, non-profit work, event coordinating, networking, and storytelling. All my articles.

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