The new year is off to an exciting start in California’s Barbecue Capital, as American Cowboy magazine salutes Santa Maria Style Barbecue in its latest issue.

Indeed, the magazine, which celebrates the lifestyle of the American West, names our local barbecue tradition among “5 Foods You Can Thank Cowboys For.”

Of Santa Maria Barbecue, they write, “Beef tri-tip is grilled over red oak and served with salsa cruda and pinquito beans. The Hitching Post in Casmalia serves this central California ranch staple.”

Other regional foods on the list include Basque sheepherder’s bread, Texas chili con carne, Rocky Mountain oysters and Pipikaula, a Hawaiian dried beef.

Thanks to American Cowboy for recognizing Santa Maria Style Barbecue as a cornerstone of the West’s culinary heritage.