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Texas BBQ by Wyatt McSpadden, John Morthland

To Texans, barbecue is elemental. Succulent, savory, perfumed with smoke and spice, it transcends the term "comfort food." It's downright heavenly, and it's also a staff of Texas life. Like a dust storm or a downpour, barbecue is a force of Texas nature, a stalwart tie to the state's cultural and culinary history. Though the word is often shortened to "BBQ," the tradition of barbecue stands Texas-tall.

Photographer Wyatt McSpadden has spent some twenty years documenting barbecue—specifically, the authentic family-owned cafes that are small-town mainstays. Traveling tens of thousands of miles, McSpadden has crisscrossed the state to visit scores of barbecue purveyors, from fabled sites like Kreuz's in Lockhart to remote spots like the Lazy H Smokehouse in Kirbyville. Color or black-and-white, wide angle or close up, his pictures convey the tradition and charm of barbecue. They allow the viewer to experience each place through all five senses. The shots of cooking meat and spiraling smoke make taste and smell almost tangible. McSpadden also captures the shabby appeal of the joints themselves, from huge, concrete-floored dining halls to tiny, un-air-conditioned shacks. Most of all, McSpadden conveys the primal physicality of barbecue—the heat of fire, the heft of meat, the slickness of juices—and also records ubiquitous touches such as ancient scarred carving blocks, torn screen doors and peeling linoleum, and toothpicks in a recycled pepper sauce jar.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780292718586
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 03/01/2009
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 789,812
Product dimensions: 10.10(w) x 12.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

WYATT MCSPADDEN’s portraits of governors, golfers, musicians, millionaires, and more have appeared in scores of publications nationwide, most notably in Texas Monthly, where he is a contributing photographer. His other assignments have ranged from shooting ranch roundups and football games to capturing religion, race, medicine, crime, technology, and virtually every other aspect of Texas life.

JIM HARRISON is the author of thirty books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. He has recently published The English Major, a novel, and In Search of Small Gods, a book of poems. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

A writer-at-large for Texas Monthly and food columnist for Texas Journey, JOHN MORTHLAND has written widely on the subjects of food, music, travel, and regional culture for more than thirty years.

Table of Contents

  • Photographs by Wyatt McSpadden
  • Foreword by Jim Harrison
  • Essay by John Morthland

What People are Saying About This

Robb Walsh

"It is incredibly refreshing to encounter a book of barbecue photographs that does not include neon signs of pigs, Confederate flags, or grinning hillbillies. . . . McSpadden restores some dignity to the field. . . .The tone of his images brings to mind the work of an earlier Texas photographer, Russell Lee, who also photographed Texas barbecue establishments in his work for the Farm Security Administration."

Colman Andrews

"Wyatt McSpadden’s images of the world of Texas barbecue are so strong and evocative that they seem made of heat and smoke and flavor as much as of light and color. He is nothing less than a genius at summoning up the savory world of this most definitive of Lone Star food traditions."

Jim Harrison

"When I first looked at Wyatt McSpadden’s photos I fancied that someone had given the soul of Edward Hopper a camera and sent him off to Texas."

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Texas BBQ 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
64640 More than 1 year ago
Although the photos and info were great, think this book is very over priced for what you receive..