To give you a taste of the pork belly version, I’m sharing a recipe that appears in my forthcoming book, Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of BarbecueThe recipe comes from Eudell Watts IV, Old Arthur Watt’s great-great-grandson. Old Arthur learned to barbecue during his enslaved childhood on a plantation near Kansas City. In 1863, after the Emancipation Proclamation, he was freed at the age of 27. He relocated to central Illinois, where he was known for his incredible barbecue skills. He died at the age of 108, but his legacy lives on via Old Arthur’s, a company founded by his descendants that sells barbecue rubs and sauces based on Old Arthur’s recipes. This recipe calls for a three-step process that candies the pork belly by smoking, then rendering, and adding barbecue sauce at the end of the smoking process to create crispy, smoky, glazed bits of delicious pork. Although Arthur Bryant and Old Arthur might not recognize pork belly burnt ends, something tells me they’d like them.

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