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The Proffitts of Ridgewood: An Appalachian Family’s Life in Barbecue

By author: Fred W. Sauceman
Product Code: P550
ISBN: 9780881466270
Publisher: Mercer University Press
Availability: In stock
Price: $20.00

Fresh hams cook slowly for eight hours over hickory wood as smoke drifts through Bullock’s Hollow in Northeast Tennessee. It’s a smell both ancient and alluring. The technique is as old as cooking itself. Gas and electricity play no part. Wood, fire, and smoke are the elements. Pressures to modernize are constant, but labor-intensive tradition prevails at Ridgewood Barbecue near Bluff City. The restaurant has been located at the same spot since 1948, and it has been owned and operated by the Proffitt family all that time. THE PROFFITTS OF RIDGEWOOD: AN APPALACHIAN FAMILY'S LIFE IN BARBECUE, by Fred W. Sauceman, tells a story of persistence, respect for tradition, and loyalty to the land. The enterprising Grace Proffitt opened a beer joint in that once lonely hollow, but four years later, the county went dry, forcing Grace and her husband Jim to seek out another means to raise their two little boys, Larry and Terry. Grace and Jim chose barbecue. They designed their own pits. And they created a sauce that only two people know how to make today. Now in its third generation of family ownership, Ridgewood is a barbecue restaurant run by a pharmacist and his daughter, a registered nurse. Despite its secluded location, the parking lot is constantly full. Diners from all over the world seek out hickory-smoked ham, tomato-based sauce, blue cheese dressing, and swigs of sweet tea. This book tells the story of those remarkable products and the hard-working Appalachian family who created them.
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