Despite that tired old adage about apple pie, barbecue is arguably the closest thing to a true national cuisine that America's got. And while the United States has never ventured to name an official national dish, perhaps it's high time we do so. We may not be able to agree on Trump versus Hillary or minimum wage or whether a hot dog is a sandwich, but pretty much every American will concede to the idea that smoked meats — be they pork or beef, sauced or unsauced — are a national treasure.
And in true American fashion, if we appoint a national dish, we're going to need a government bureaucrat to go along with it. A good starting point, as Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett recently tweeted, would be appointing a Pitmaster General:
Aaron Franklin, the acclaimed Austin pitmaster who famously let President Obama cut his restaurant's insanely long line, seems like an obvious choice for a first appointee. Like a saucier version of the Surgeon General, the Pitmaster General would be responsible for providing the American public with information on how best to prepare smoked meats, and how to reduce the risk of barbecue-related insult and injury (avoid grocery store barbecue sauce at all costs, for example).
Also, it would basically be coolest job title ever, topping even barbecue editor and drug czar. Perhaps the Pitmaster General could even get the McRib, a travesty to the great institution of barbecue, outlawed.