Scott's Variety Store and Bar-B-Q in Hemingway, South Carolina
The front view of Scott's Variety Store and Barbecue.
The Dining Room
Ordering "to stay" isn't really an option at Scott's. In warm weather, you can take your barbecue across the street to one of a few picnics tables (watch out for the fire ants). Benches on the front porch also provide a minimalist space for dining in style.
Locals chat in the doorway at Scott's. The store houses a yield of fresh watermelons during summer and fresh sweet potatoes during winter.
The Barbecue Counter
On barbecue days, most customers head straight to the counter, where some of the best hog in South Carolina can be purchased at $8 a pound.
Pig Skins: A Carolina Treat
Smoked before they're deep fried, barbecue pig skins are a regional delicacy. Dutiful to the tastes of the state, Scott's has a fresh batch ready for anyone who hungers for a bag of these crunchy Carolina treats..
The Smoking Pits
Scott's homemade smoking pits are formed of concrete and loaded with wood coals. Whole hogs are butterflied and laid atop sheets of fencing wire to cook for over half a day.
The Wood Smoking Chimney
The barrels Rodney Scott and his staff use to transform hunks of hardwood into live wood coals were engineered from local scrap. Backyard barbecue kings everywhere could just about die admiring this marvel.
Preparing the Hogs
Scott's employees make quick work of each whole hog, working together to remove the hooves and butterfly the carcass.
Preparing the Hogs
Once a hog has been splayed, it is taken by hand into the smokehouse for seasoning and cooking.
Whole Hog Barbecue at Its Best
Rodney Scott's slow-smoked pork is a peak of the barbecue world. It's also a direct product of Scott's Hemingway: the hogs come from local farms, the wood is literally chopped down from local yards and the method has been in the family for over 40 years. I doubt that the styrofoam container is locavore friendly, but as far as slow food goes, this is as good as it gets.
Pepper and Vinegar Sauce
A red sauce without tomato, Scott's vinegar-based sauce is a firebrand of flavor. It is also the perfect complement to smoked pork, accenting the tastes of meat and wood with sweetness, tang, and -- depending on your order -- one Hell of a spicy punch.
More Whole Hog Barbecue
Scott's barbecue is tossed with a blend of dry seasoning that includes red pepper, black pepper and Accent Seasoning. Even without sauce, the taste of the finished meat is complex and addictive.
A Sunbeam of Barbecue Legend
I personally vouch for the presence of pre-sliced white bread at any barbecue establishment, and I was more than happy to see these loaves of Sunbeam at Scott's.