50 Shades of Hush Puppies - Part II
Photo Credit: James Boo
In our last we broke down the 2 major styles of hush puppies - Sweet onion balls & savory boomerangs. We continue now with the two more ancient styles of cornbread/BBQ pairings. Both variants are native to the Eastern regions of North Carolina.
The first is the cornpone. Most people up north won't know what a cornpone is and if they do, use it as a derisive slur. While hill-billy and redneck has taken on some charm with the media, cornpone continues to be a very cruel remark. A cornpone is a dense baked cornbread. It's made with the rendered lard of the smoked whole hog. The cornpone was a good way to use of lard in the past as the predominately available pig for barbecue were lard hogs. Pete Jones of the Skylight Inn have noted on several interviews that he needs to source his own lard as the current hogs don't produce as much.
The cornpone tastes exactly as it looks from the photo up top. It's very dense, decently bland, and you can more or less guess why it hasn't really survived too widely in the American South. You'll find the best examples the cornpone at the Skylight Inn and Bum's in the town of Ayden, NC.
The corn stick is even more obscure than the cornpone. The cornstick is basically a lighter cornpone cut into sticks. It's still supposed to be pretty chewy. They are fried or baked. Traditionally they're baked. You'll find them at B's Barbecue in Greenville and Parker's BBQ in Wilson.
You can see corn sticks being served side by side with hush puppies at Parker's below.
Credit - Barbecue Bus