11 June 2009

Wet and Wild Cheerwine Rub

Wet and Wild Cheerwine Rubbed Chicken and Braised Lettuce

Southerners have a particular penchant for cooking with coke, the generic carbonated drink nomenclature used in the vast majority of the South. It's all coke. While my knowledge of this fact is anecdotal there is hard evidence presented in the Journal of English Linguistics #24, 1996. Luanne von Schneidemesser, PhD and senior editor of the Dictionary of American Regional English wrote of this linguistic anomaly in her article, Soda or Pop?. The following map illustrated her research.

In the United States, we (and by "we" I mean every man, woman and child) drink on average 43 gallons of various carbonated elixirs per year. In the South, a quart or two of that soft drink average makes its way into our cooking. Perhaps it is because we always have some coke left over after we mix the hard drinks. Whatever the reason, we love to soak ham in Coca-Cola and put root beer in cake.

Southerner's also have an abiding love of regional carbonated soft drinks. RC and Moon Pies comes to mind. A particular favorite of mine is Cheerwine. Since 1917, Cheerwine has been produced in North Carolina. Though it often pops up in other places, it is well worth a trip to North Carolina. They are also fond of barbecue in North Carolina. This recipes gives you the best of both.

Wet and Wild Cheerwine Rub

4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
3 cloves
1 cup Cheerwine
2 tablespoons Sriracha
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil

In a spice grinder or molcajete, grind the coriander, cumin, pepper, fennel, cloves until cracked.

Add the garlic to the spices and blend until coarsely chopped.

In a bowl add the seed and garlic mixture and stir in the brown sugar, Sriracha, olive oil and Cheerwine and blend to a thick paste.

Rub on your favorite barbecue item and let sit for at least an hour or, at best, overnight.

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