The great barbecue sauce tasting continues here although in a pretty disjointed fashion, since that’s how I roll. Today’s sauce suggestion comes from none other than my friend Carolyn, aka the social media voice of Piggie Park (you’ll be hearing from her again soon about another related topic!). Piggie Park is an old barbecue business started by her grandfather. Though it’s had its share of controversy through the early 90s, it’s now in the hands of the next generation who is marching forward with the vision of sharing their hard work on the food with the public, as it should be.

Instead of the usual tofu or tempeh meat base I am showcasing a fascinating and strangely delicious technique that involved using fruit, yes FRUIT, to make a very convincing pulled pork looking vehicle for the real star of the show- the sauce. Jackfruit can be found canned in Asian or Oriental markets (both of those places have it), but look for Young Jackfruit in Brine. The other option is packed in syrup, which will be too sweet for our purpose. If you’re feeling flush with an extra $75 and handy with a machete, 14 Carrot in Lexington also carries whole, raw jackfruit on occasion. Don’t blame me if you hack off a hand though.

(Photo via: 14 Carrot Facebook page)

If you’re from South Carolina, you know the politics of the three different sauces, mustard, ketchup, or pepper and vinegar based and if you don’t, here’s a handy guide. Don’t even accuse me of voting for Romney, OR McCain, for that matter.

Once I made this according to these directions at Chow Vegan (the only thing I did differently was use mustard based sauce in place of the red), I realized that I had no idea how to eat pulled barbecue. That’s when I looked around on the Piggie Park website and figured I’d just toss it on white bread and eat a pickle beside it, and the sheer simplicity of it was exactly what this recipe begs for. It didn’t need to go on a salad, or beside a bunch of fried sides, necessarily. It could stand on its own with a pickle and sweet tea to sip on the side.

Definitely let this simmer and cook in the slow cooker for a few hours, adding a little more sauce in the middle, and using a fork to really shred the flesh of the fruit. Doesn’t it look pretty convincing? I’ve never eaten real meat pulled pork before in my life, so I have no idea how this truly compares, but it makes me happy!

I really enjoyed this style of sauce more than I anticipated, and now have to try the pepper and vinegar variety before declaring a winner in the great vegetarian barbecue race. If you’re local, give ole Piggie Park a try, they have locations all over the Midlands, and a few elsewhere in the State. If not, and especially if you miss the taste of home, they do have an active shipping service, sending their Southern Gold all over the country.