South Carolina is the only state to have four types of barbecue sauces: mustard, vinegar, heavy tomato, and light tomato. The meat used in South Carolina is consistent throughout the state, slow-cooked pulled pork. In the Palmetto State, barbecue is a noun, meaning hickory-smoked, pulled pork. You will never hear a South Carolinian refer to grilling hamburgers as barbecuing.
In the Pee Dee and Lowcountry coastal region, a vinegar and pepper sauce is prevalent. This is the original barbecue sauce, dating back to colonial times and used by settlers from Great Britain.
Charleston(more specifically, Mount Pleasant) is home to Sticky Fingers, a rib house who uses all four sauces.
In the Midlands area around Columbia, a mustard-based sauce sometimes referred to as “Carolina Gold” is the predominant style. Such establishments as Melvin’s (2 locations in Charleston, SC), Maurice Bessinger’s “Piggie Park”, Shealy’s and Jackie Hites* (both located in Batesburg-Leesville) and Dukes BBQ (3 locations in Orangeburg, SC) use gold sauce made from mustard, apple juice, brown sugar, and other ingredients. The German immigrants, who first concocted mustard-based sauce, often used beer in place of apple juice. Maurice’s BBQ sauce is found in grocery stores around the country.
In upcountry around Rock Hill, one finds the light tomato and the rest of the upcountry stretching down past Aiken is home to the heavy tomato sauce. In addition to pork, other popular BBQ dishes include hash and ribs. Barbecue in South Carolina is often served over rice, and with such sides as fatback, cracklins, hash, cole slaw, potato salad, etc. No barbecue meal is complete without a glass of cold, sweet tea to accompany it.