As Santa Maria Style Barbecue fanatics, we’re always thrilled to discover someone who smells the red oak and sees the light when it comes to “Santa Maria style.”

So needless to say, we were delighted to stumble upon this recent post by Food Blogga (a.k.a. Susan Russo), who shares her path to barbecue enlightenment.

She first comes clean with the admission that, “Having grown up in Rhode Island I always thought a ‘barbecue’ referred to an outdoor cookout featuring grilled hot dogs and hamburgers.”

She then pays her penance: “It wasn’t until we moved to North Carolina that we discovered ‘barbecue’ had nothing to do with hot dogs and hamburgers and everything to do with slowly cooking a whole hog over some flames.”

Finally, Food Blogga finds the truth: “Now that we live in Southern California, I’ve fallen for Santa Maria-style barbecue made from tri-tip, a flavorful, triangular cut of beef from the bottom sirloin.”

Her story continues with a wonderfully detailed recipe for Santa Maria Style Barbecue by Joe at SteakPerfection. Food Blogga wraps with this tip: “And just in case you’re wondering, tri-tip tastes better if it you eat it while wearing a cowboy hat.”

Keep the faith Food Blogga!