Is it any wonder that barbecue is such a mythologized food? Creation stories abound, mystical sauce recipes are traded and kept forever secret, and stories of the magnitude of out-of-control pit fires are traded like big-fish tales.
Richard Hodge, from tiny Hornsby, Tennessee, grew up watching the men—the elders—in his area gather every Fourth of July to cook whole hogs in big holes in the ground, watching them smoke all night long. He has cooked shoulders for over twenty years at his third establishment, this eponymous pit-house in Bolivar. Richard’s slogan is pork as “Sweet and Tender as a Mother’s Love.”