We are always delighted to discover new stories and travelogues that turn the spotlight on Santa Maria Style Barbecue, and the latest is a post by James Boo on SeriousEats.com.

Writes Mr. Boo, “Santa Maria’s claim to culinary fame is a type of open-flame grilling that dates back to the 19th century. Despite its association with colonial Spain’s vaquero culture, this approach was not too different from most American barbecue of the time—a process with three general steps: ‘Dig hole. Light coals. Apply carcass.'”

He adds, “Santa Maria barbecue, like Maryland Pit Beef, doesn’t adhere to contemporary rules but after spending a day at the region’s taverns and steakhouses, I could taste about a century of tradition distilled into the craft of seriously delicious wood-smoke grilling.”

Hear, hear! He also makes a cool cultural observation: “When I pulled up to the steakhouses of Santa Maria, California, I found pickup trucks next to pickup trucks. That’s what you get for a farmtown near the Central Coast.”

Along the way, Mr. Boo specifically praises the food at two local Santa Maria BBQ landmarks: The Hitching Post and Shaw’s Steakhouse. If you’d like to follow in his footsteps, a great place to start is our roundup of Santa Maria Valley barbecue specialists.

Thanks to James Boo and SeriousEats.com for sharing the good news about Santa Maria Style Barbecue!