by Joseph R. Haynes
With more than four hundred years of history, Virginians lay claim to the invention of southern barbecue. Native Virginian Powhatan tribes slow roasted meat on wooden hurdles or grills. James Madison hosted grand barbecue parties during the colonial and federal eras. The unique combination of vinegar, salt, pepper, oils and various spices forms the mouthwatering barbecue sauce that was first used by colonists in Virginia and then spread throughout the country. Today, authentic Virginia barbecue is regionally diverse and remains culturally vital. Drawing on hundreds of historical and contemporary sources, author, competition barbecue judge and award-winning barbecue cook Joe Haynes documents the delectable history of barbecue in the Old Dominion.
Joseph R. Haynes is a native Virginian and award-winning barbecue cook. A lifetime student of barbecue, Haynes is a certified master barbecue judge and travels the state giving numerous lectures, appearing in media, consulting with organizations and attending festivals promoting Virginia’s barbecue heritage. He wrote the Virginia Barbecue Proclamation, which passed as a House Joint Resolution in 2016, where it was resolved that May through October of each year is Virginia’s official barbecue season.
The History Press, 2016