Originally Posted by neuyawk
Funny, I only really encountered the Dip (tomato-vinegar) around the Lexington area. I'd disagree with the ENC BBQ being only a regional favorite. Quite the contrary, ENC whole hog is consistently the most popular line when we cook up here (NYC) at the annual Big Apple BBQ festival 100K+ person in attendance.
By contrast the Lexington style sauce (+tomatoes) and shoulder doesn't really appear anywhere else except western North Carolina. Tragically so I might add. Even when I was talking to the patriarch of Lexingtion BBQ himself, Charles Stamey, he was skeptical of the possibility of Lexington BBQ becoming widespread in popularity.
I'd also disagree with the sentiment that 3/4 of the state knows how to BBQ. A good proportion of state doesn't even eat Carolina BBQ. If you head around the Charlotte area, BBQ comes from a gasser and is drenched in a Kraft-processed 'BBQ sauce'.
The whole shoulder/vinegar (+ a tiny bit of tomato) BBQ is cooked in my region of VA. There are no places that still do it well within an hour's drive anymore, but it's cooked here in VA at several places and has been for many decades.