“With an anthropologist's eye and a glutton's appetite, Rien Fertel crisscrossed the American South on a pilgrimage to collect the wisdom of the great pitmasters, practitioners of the vanishing art of whole-hog barbecuing. Like all great food travelogues, you'll be tempted to consume this one in a single sitting."
– Mark Adams, author of Turn Right at Machu Picchu
“I devoured this book the same way I do good barbecue—in one big sitting with enough left over for the next day. The One True Barbecue takes hog as its subject but is much more: history, sociology, race relations, economics,and land. Read this for a view into the South, then and now. It'll make your mouth water for more.”
– Chris Offutt, author of My Father, the Pornographer
"Some barbecue cooks who still cook whole hogs the old way are just stubbornly doing what their people have always done. Others have studied the tradition and are reviving it in unexpected places. Not surprisingly, all are interesting characters, as Rien Fertel shows us in this fascinating book. A superb documentarian with a wry sense of humor, Fertel also offers some thoughtful observations about authenticity, gentrification, and celebrity. This book should be read by anyone who thinks barbecue is about sticky red sauce."
– John Shelton Reed, co-founder of The Campaign for Real Barbecue (TrueCue.org) and co-author of Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue
"The One True Barbecue is the whole hog of storytelling-- sharp and witty prose, thoughtful interviews, and deep, humane insights into what makes these pitmasters cook."
– Jami Attenberg, author of Saint Mazie
"Crackling with southern culture and history, Fertel's love for barbecue--from the pitmasters to the culinary traditions--is alive on every page. A joy to read and hog heaven for anyone who appreciates the nuances and delights of barbecue at its finest."
– Gilbert King, author of Devil in the Grove
"It is the stories of the pit masters and their predecessors, told with a sympathetic and fastidious eye, that give this hog its wings."
– Publishers Weekly