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Watch: Three Generations of Barbecue Tradition at Skylight Inn

A "capital" of whole hog cooking in Ayden, North Carolina

Barbecue is a divisive topic; the "right" way to prepare it is hotly contested all across America, and every region boasts that their local pit is the best. In today’s featured video from the Southern Foodways Alliance, second- and third-generation barbecue joint owners Bruce and Sam Jones tell the story of the Ayden, North Carolina hometown favorite their father and grandfather respectively opened in 1947, a restauranat they continue to run in his memory today.

Skylight Inn BBQ was named a "barbecue capital of America" by National Geographic in the 1970’s, which inspired the construction of the capital dome and flagpole atop the otherwise unassuming restaurant (earlier this year, Eater critic Bill Addison also named it home to one of the country's 23 essential barbecue dishes). Their whole hogs are still prepared in the same style as when Pete Jones began the business: cooked over 100% oak wood become piled of chopped and mixed tender meat and crispy skin. Watch the video above for a look into the establishment's history, and the food that keeps people coming back for more.

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