Sunday, May 02, 2010

On mutton & barbecue

One of the most frequently hit posts on this blog is one from 2007 entitled "Why Americans don't eat mutton." In it, I wrote that perhaps the Wool Act created a situation that incentivized farmers to produce wool and not meat. Tyler Cowen recently visited Kentucky and gives us post entitled the origins of mutton barbecue. He links to this quote that perhaps tells the rest of the story:

Aging sheep who no longer produced good wool became a virtually unlimited resource, but the meat was too tough and too strong tasting to be worth anything so people turned to the tried and true methods of low and slow cooking.

That partly explains mutton barbecue. Cowen also links to a 1977 article in The New Yorker looking at the history of mutton barbecue as well.

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