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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to annemarie@southernfoodways.org.

< Back to Oral History project: Tennessee BBQ


Anthony Bledsoe

Anthony Bledsoe cuts his own trees for fuel. He chooses hickory trees from the forests that surround this tiny community of Woodstock, Tennessee. Fresh green hickory imparts a flavor, he says, that is unbeatable; conventional dried, aged, and soaked hickory chips just go up in smoke.

Located between Millington and Memphis, the Woodstock Store N’ Deli actually straddles town and city; the customer orders in Millington or the front half of the Store, while the barbecue is smoked and the sandwich prepared in Memphis.

Mr. Bledsoe started working in barbecue pits in 1966, at the age of thirteen. He says he’s been perfecting his hot sauce for just as long. The sauce can be had on a Sleeper, a pound of chopped barbecue between a bun.

Date of interview:
2008-07-18 00:00

Rien T. Fertel

Rien T. Fertel

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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