Reader contributor and Key Ingredient videographer Michael Gebert of Sky Full of Bacon has a new 31-minute video on the history of Chicago 'cue. In it he interviews some luminaries of south-side barbecue, among them pit men from Uncle John's, Lem's, Honey 1, and Calumet Park's Cole's.
We've done our fair share of barbecue coverage, so I'm well schooled in the essentials of authentic Chicago barbecue: hardwood, an aquarium smoker, low and slow heat. Nevertheless the pit masters are entertaining raconteurs, and I'd never heard of Mumbo Sauce, which is manufactured in Melrose Park. Invented by Argia B. Collins in 1950, it's now run by his daughter Allison Collins and turns out to be a cult favorite in Washington D.C., which scandalously claims to have originated it. Red, sweet, and tangy, it's found in Chinese restaurants there and used with chicken wings, fries, and fried rice.