We try to acquire all of the latest barbecue literature, and have just received a copy of Wilber W. Caldwell’s Searching for the Dixie Barbecue: Journeys Into the Southern Psyche (Pineapple Pres, 2005).

The restaurants Caldwell visits are primarily in Georgia and Alabama, but there is a short discussion of the Red Pig Barbecue in Concord, N.C. We admire Caldwell’s scientific approach to his subject. In a comprehensive side dish survey of fifty restaurants, he found that the dishes that most commonly accompany barbecue are cole slaw, baked beans, and potato salad. At the bottom of the list we find rice, apple sauce, greens, and black-eyed peas. The numerical approach returns in the appendix which includes a “Funk Factor Rating Guide.” Searching for the Dixie Barbecue is nicely illustrated with black and white photographs of restaurants throughout the South.