The spelling of “barbecue” changes depending on where you’re standing in the United States.
In South Carolina, they use “Bar-B-Que” and “BBQ” more frequently than “barbecue,” or at least that’s what I’ve noticed. Not that it makes a difference. Barbecue, by any other spelling, still tastes as sweet and smoky.
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But South Carolina is unique in at least one very big way: barbecue hash. Hash, which is served over rice as either a side dish or main course, is something that’s found only in South Carolina. It’s not on menus in Georgia; don’t go looking for it in North Carolina.
Hash is hard to describe. In very basic terms, it’s sort of like a pulled pork stew, though it can also be made with beef. It’s thick like a gravy and heavy on the meat, with nary a vegetable in sight. It’s fortified with black and cayenne peppers, it often contains the addition of ketchup or mustard in a barbecue-sauce adjacent way, and most, if not all, versions of it usually contain pork or chicken livers in varying strength. But, most important, it is absolutely delicious. Trust me.
Though it may not be pretty to look at, hash is an important part of South Carolina’s rich culinary history. Many people credit enslaved cooks on plantations along the Savannah River with creating the dish as a way to make discarded and less desirable hog parts into something nourishing. I’ve eaten it countless times at various locations throughout the state and the only consistency between versions is that they’re all different in taste, texture, and appearance.
Make sense? No? Well then, check out this video for further explanation, and once you’re inspired, try your hand at our version.