Wednesday, May 20, 2009
(Photo from the pickled pig forums)
In a KCBS sanctioned BBQ contest we submit four white Styrofoam clam boxes. One one for each of the meats(chicken, ribs, pork, and brisket) The rules state that garnish under the meat in the box is optional. I am going to say that 99.9% of the teams do use garnish. I am sure some in the past have tried going sans garnish but I have never heard of anybody being successful with it. I was a garnish hater for quite some time until recently. When I first started competing the norm seemed to be to line the box with some green leaf lettuce and maybe a little curly parsley. Nowadays I am coming to find that more cooks are starting to present the entries with a bed of 100% curly parley otherwise known as a "putting green" I started using this method late last year and have notice my scores have gone up considerably. Paul Ostrom of the pickled pig forums even has a tutorial on the process. It is very time consuming but the end result does enhance the meat much more than lettuce. Judges are not supposed to judge the greens but who are we kidding? No judge that I know of has admitted it but the results dont lie. I wish I could do an experiment where I turn in the exact same brisket entry one with garnish one without and see how they do. I think the putting green does in fact make the meat stand out better. I have heard that once you have seen one putting green you have seen them all. I would love for all teams to eventually only use putting greens. I think it level the playing field. Another bizarre thing has overcome me with the process of creating the putting green...I actually in some sick and twisted way enjoy doing them! Even though it is a long process(at least the way i do it) of gathering the strands of parsley to make up the box I find it very relaxing and gives me time to sit and clear my head during a comp. I am thinking about starting a service where I set up a booth at a contest, teams drop off their boxes and then I would create the putting greens for them for a fee. I figure it this way, I can hang out for the weekend as I do now and actually walk away with money in my pocket for a change....