Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Alabama's BBQ White Sauce || Food/Groups

Difficulty: 0

- It's all like a process.

But you raise your eyebrows, you make your eyes big,

you flare your nostrils, you frown, and you inhale, so.

(breathes deep)

Roll Tide.

(rhythmic music)

- [Dave] Alabama doesn't always get its

due on the map of US barbecue.

From the Carolinas to Memphis, to Kansas City,

and all of Texas, pretty much everyone

in Bama's neighborhood has a a bigger

barbecue profile nationwide.

But, Alabama does have one unassailable

claim to barbecue fame,

Northern Alabama White Sauce.

It's a culinary oddity that could only

have been born in this state's underrated barbecue scene.

So we're headed upstate to the place

that invented it almost a century ago,

and in doing so, gave all of Alabama

a point of pride on the barbecue map.

Big Bob Gibson.

- [Chris] I'm Chris Lilly, Vice President and

pit master Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q.

I've been here a long time, since 1992,

But not nearly as long as this restaurant.

We've been in Decatur, Alabama, in business since 1925.

Big Bob Gibson was an all-in railroad worker,

and he did that during the week,

but on the weekends, he would invite

friends and family over to his backyard,

he had a hand-dug pit where he specialized in two things:

pulled pork shoulder, and whole split chickens.

And for his barbecue chicken,

he invented the original barbecue white sauce.

It gave a tangy, peppery flavor to his food,

but also kept the chicken from drying out.

We split the chickens, salt the bellies,

put them on our hickory fired brick coffin pits.

Every chicken that comes off the pit at Big Bob Gibson's,

it's baptized in a vat of white barbecue sauce,

before it gets to our customers.

- [Dave] You just dunk it right in there?

- Dunk it right in, yeah.

A lot of people think that white barbecue sauce

is like a ranch dressing, it's absolutely not.

It's a tangy, peppery flavor.

The base is vinegar.

Vinegar, mayonnaise, lemon juice,

black pepper, and salt, and a few secrets.

Our barbecue white sauce is not only unique to

Decatur, Alabama, it is uniquely Alabama.

And that's what people associate barbecue in Alabama with.

It's something we can hang our hat on

when you start talking about the regions of

barbecue, with the Carolinas and Memphis,

and Kansas City, and Texas.

Alabama, I like to think is the fifth region of barbecue.

- This is a crime, because I just took a bite of it, my god.

The chicken is incredible.

- [Chris] Thank you, I appreciate it.

- [Dave] It's fantastic.

- [Chris] There's something else that is uniquely

Alabama, and that is College Football, game day.

In Tuscaloosa this weekend, I will be there.

You should drop by.

- [Dave] Sounds like we gotta go.

(crowd clapping in sequence)

From Decatur we drove south west

to The University of Alabama.

For big games, Tuscaloosa's population

jumps by hundreds of thousands of fans.

Which means a lot of Crimson Tide tailgates

and whole lot of this.

- Roll Tide Roll!

- Roll Tide Roll!

- Roll Tide, Roll!

- [Dave] It takes an ambitious pit master

to put white sauce on a tailgate menu.

Enter Shane Hill, Alabama native, U of A alumn,

and Roll Tide tailgate pro.

- Title of the cook book isAlabama Tailgate Cookbook’.

- You literally wrote the Alabama tailgate cookbook,

- [Shane] Yeah, Exactly.

So today, we're playing Tennessee.

So we're gonna do a bunch of different smoked meats,

we're doing some smoked chicken thighs.

We're gonna do some smoked and fried wings.

We've got a 14-hour brisket we've been runnin' all night.

But, you know the white sauce is kind of the thing,

It's one of the things that just really,

to me it identifies with Alabama.

- [Dave] This is the homemade white sauce you just made.

- [Shane] Yep, exactly.

- God damn.

That is some good chicken.

- Awesome, thank you.

Thank you.

- Wow.

- [Man] Get some, Roll Tide.

- [Jack] Game day really brings

a lot of energy to the city.

Half of the state always tries to come up to

Tuscaloosa for a good weekend.

Especially a game like when we play a

rival like Tennessee.

- [Dave] Jack Blankenship is a Tuscaloosa native

and Alabama alumn, and bit of a local celebrity.

- Yeah, my freshman year of college,

I decided to print out a sign of my own face,

and I would hold it up during the free throws

to distract the opposing team,

and hopefully help Alabama win a little bit.

Personally, I prefer white barbecue sauce,

because I'm a very like messy barbecue eater.

I've always felt like football is definitely kind of like

what beats through everyone's heart in the state.

And it's kind of cool to see that

these two things can be celebrated hand in hand.

- The white sauce, you know being here from Alabama

and being kind of the one thing, or the one food,

especially on the barbecue scene, that's ours.

It's our identity.

You didn't ask what barbecue sauce it was,

you knew what barbecue sauce it was.

If people are out discovering it, that's awesome.

But like you say, I don't want it to start

being something that's taken away from us.

You know, it's ours and we wanna kind of hold on to it.


- Roll Tide!


- [Dave] 60 miles east of Tuscaloosa lies Birmingham.

The state's biggest city in culinary proving ground.

Can chefs like Mauricio Papapietro and Roscoe Hall,

who both came up in the Magic City's fine dining kitchens,

innovate on white sauce without diluting its legacy?

We headed to Mauricio's restaurant Brick & Tin to find out.

- [Mauricio] So this is the Brick & Tin brisket panini,

It's our best seller.

It's been the best seller since the day that we opened.

We brine and braise the brisket in-house.

We caramelize onions, we make our bread from scratch.

Which is a French-style pain de mie dough.

And then it has white barbecue sauce,

which we make from scratch with homemade mayo,

black pepper, cider vinegar.

We put a little bit of honey in ours, and that's it.

- [Dave] If you don't ask him, you'd never know

that Roscoe is Alabama barbecue royalty.

His family started Dreamland Bar-B-Que,

a beloved regional chain.

But if you do ask him, well

- We make delicious sauce,

possibly the best in the [omitted] country.


- Dreamland is much more from a traditional standpoint.

Like obviously, that's sort of where

barbecue has come from in Alabama.

- My Grandpa had a sauce house,

which my dad did work in, he just sit in the shed

and just shake up like bottles of vinegar,

and keep adding shit to it.

- I learned how to cook in fine dining,

and work for some of the same people.

My approach to cooking brisket

was something I brought from my background in fine dining.

These a community of us who are creating

a new kind of restaurant.

- And it is a young man's game.

We are putting out heart into making food

like you would get in a Michelin Star restaurant,

but making it like affordable and approachable.

- [Mauricio] And it is, white barbecue sauce

is kind of Alabama's claim on barbecue.

- [Dave] Yeah.


Chef, this is incredible.

- [Mauricio] Good, thank you.

- [Dave] Really, really incredible.

- [Mauricio] Thank you.

We're innovating, or trying to be

progressive as a restaurant but really it's ironic,

because really what were doing is going back

to traditions that have been around forever.

It was just like white barbecue would be perfect.

I was hoping that it would kind of click with people,

you know, it did.

We're pulling Decatur, and we're pulling from Texas,

we're pulling from you know France, for the bread,

I mean it's like...

- [Roscoe] Southern heritage food,

thanks to a lot of great chefs.

We have this huge buoyant, importance

right now in the south east through our food.

So when I approach a sandwich like this,

it's like,

thank you.

That makes total sense because I don't

wanna eat smoked chicken right now.

- [Dave] But that's sort of the point, isn't it?

Sometimes you want smoked chicken,

sometimes you don't.

But whatever you want,

chances are the sauce Big Bob built can go on top.

It may have started in a single place,

intended for a single purpose.

But today white sauce contains multitudes.

And Alabama?

well, Alabama does too.

(rhythmic beat)

The Description of Alabama's BBQ White Sauce || Food/Groups