Go whole hog in the Barbecue Capital of the World
Lexington is so barbecue crazed it has some 19 barbecue restaurants in a town of less than 19,000 people, giving it the most per capita of any city in the world. The city has a well-established spot on the Historic Barbecue Trail created by the North Carolina Barbecue Society, and is often called the Barbecue Capital of the World. The town also is home to North Carolina’s largest barbecue celebration, known simply as The Barbecue Festival. Held in late October, the event draws more than 100,000 people to Lexington’s Main Street for food and fun. Lexington and Davidson County declare October as Barbecue Month, so events are held throughout the weeks leading up to the festival. Lexington is so popular for barbecue, it’s the namesake for the style of cooking used in the entire western part of North Carolina. Lexington-style means cooking only the pork shoulder (in other parts of the state, the entire pig is cooked), which is served finely chopped, coarsely chopped or sliced, but definitely not pulled. The pork often has a crunchy crust called “outside” or “brown.” Lexington also is known for barbecue slaw, which is red and made with ketchup and vinegar. Make sure to speak up if you want it on the side – otherwise it’s served on all sandwiches.
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