Exhibit explores the rise of BBQ in NC


In North Carolina, we love our tasty, regional, home-grown barbecue, whether we can agree on it, or not.

“The Story of BBQ in North Carolina,” on display at the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer, explores the emergence of hog cultivation and food made from them as a centerpiece of many gatherings.

From the earliest history of cooking meats over flames and coals to modern methods, North Carolina has a proud barbecue tradition, featured at family and community gatherings across the state. Whether at a backyard grill, a community event, or a traditional wood fire pit at a local restaurant, delicious barbecue can be found in every North Carolina county and in every corner of our history.

Barbeque restaurants from across North Carolina are represented, with eastern, western and Piedmont styles featured. Sauces, shirts, and the tools of barbecue cooking are displayed. Local favorites are highlighted, like Lexington Barbecue from the Piedmont’s barbecue capital, College Barbecue and Marlowe’s BAR-B-Q and Seafood of Salisbury, and Hendrix Barbecue of Spencer.

The exhibit also fuels the East vs. West debate about sauces and condiments, even as it seeks to explain that the eastern vinegar base and the western tomato ketchup enhanced versions really aren’t that different.

The exhibit is available with regular museum admission, $6 for adults, $5 for seniors/military, $4 for children 3-12, and free for ages 2 and younger. Admission plus the museum’s on-site train ride is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors/military, and $8 for ages 3-12.

This exhibit is on loan from the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

The N.C. Transportation Museum, located in historic Spencer Shops, the former Southern Railway steam locomotive repair facility, is located just five minutes off Interstate 85 at Exit 79 in Spencer. The museum is home to the largest remaining operational roundhouse in North America, and numerous structures that represent what was once Southern Railway’s largest steam locomotive repair facility in the southeast.

The museum is part of the Division of Historic Sites and the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. Learn more at www.nctrans.org.


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