We are always delighted to discover other ambassadors of Santa Maria Style Barbecue who spread the tasty good news far and wide…

On that note, we are excited to share the words of one particularly passionate and eloquent enthusiast of Santa Maria BBQ–specifically Sivani at EverTheWayfarer.com, who wrote this magnificent reflection on the Santa Maria Valley’s signature barbecue style (as well as its succulent strawberries!).

Sivani resides in Texas but hails from Santa Maria, and as she concisely puts it: “There are two things that my hometown of Santa Maria, California does better than any place else: Strawberries and barbecue.”

Along the way, Sivani perfectly summarizes the beauty of our local red oak barbecue method: “What makes Santa Maria-style barbecue so delicious? The specialized barbecue pit probably doesn’t hurt, but at the end of the day, it’s not Santa Maria-style without the oak. It can’t be any oak either. Coast live oak is native to California, and while there are too many oak species for me to say that it is the only variety that will produce this flavor, I do know that there are plenty of varieties that don’t come close. This local red oak imparts a deep, velvety smokey flavor that is easily recognizable.”

She also takes note of Santa Maria’s underdog status in the world of American regional barbecue: “People often talk of the four regional barbecue styles – Carolinas, Memphis, Kansas City, and Texas. There is a fifth, though, as the Houston Chronicle and others have pointed out in recent years: Santa Maria.”

The entire post–titled The California Trifecta: Earthquakes, Strawberries and Barbecue–is a delightful read, as is the rest of the site. Thanks, Sivani, for your memorable take on Santa Maria Barbecue!