Carolina BBQ Breakdown: South Carolina Mustard
North Carolina barbecue purists may turn up their noses at the idea of a South Carolina barbecue sauce, but once you taste this sweet and tangy mustard-based sauce, you may never go back. South Carolina's signature sauce is of German origin, starting with a mustard base and adding cane sugar, vinegar, and spices. If you have yet to taste what locals refer to as "Columbia Gold," check out one of these barbecue joints to see what the fuss is all about.
Head to Holly Hill, South Carolina for a taste of small-town life and authentic South Carolina barbecue at Sweatman's BBQ. Originally opened in 1959, Sweatman's is a family-owned restaurant and has been featured in several national publications including Southern Living and Garden & Gun. Sweatman's prides themselves on using oak, hickory, and pecan trees to slow cook their whole hogs for 12-14 hours while continuously basting the meat with their secret mustard-based sauce.
The Bessinger family of Bessinger's Barbecue in Charleston, South Carolina, call themselves the first family of barbecue in South Carolina and are known for their legendary mustard-based barbecue sauce. With their hands-on approach to managing the restaurant, the Bessingers have maintained a warm and welcoming atmosphere for their customers and boast some of the tastiest barbecue in the South. Even the New York Times weighed in on Bessinger's sauce, describing it as "terrifically balancing the tangs of mustard and vinegar with a wood fire's charry flavor."
A Charleston, South Carolina tradition since 1939, Melvin's Barbecue serves the best pork ribs, chicken, and Boston butt barbecue in the South. Melvin's serves Big Joe Bessinger's legendary Golden Secret Recipe barbecue sauce that has been passed down from generation to generation but never written down. Enjoy Melvin's one-of-a-kind flavor and friendly service at either location in Mount Pleasant or James Island.
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Before visiting some of the Carolinas' best barbecue joints, visit your local AAA Car Care location for all of your car maintenance needs, including battery checks. If you plan to stay overnight, visit your local AAA travel agent to help make your trip planning easy with hotel discounts, reservations, and TripTiks, AAA's exclusive travel planner. A road trip is always a good time to make sure your insurance is updated, so call your local AAA insurance agent and they can walk you through the best options. You can easily manage your AAA Membership online or call 1-866-593-8626 while on the road.