Late night host Stephen Colbert has North Carolina foodies smoking hot over comments he made about one of the state's most cherished cuisines.  

The verbal food fight started with a segment about a missing Craven County boy.

Colbert described the situation in a good news/bad news type of way. The good news being of course that - mercifully - the toddler was found. The disparaging punchline? He'll now spend the rest of his life eating North Carolina barbecue. Colbert ended by saying he welcomed our vinegar-stained letters.

What's unclear is whether Colbert was referring to Eastern-style or Lexington-style ‘cue. Both use vinegar, but Lexington style also uses tomatoes. Eastern style does not and tends to have a considerably tangier taste.

Newell Clark is Mayor of Lexington and a certified barbecue judge. He says Colbert is apparently uneducated about barbecue and should come to Lexington for a lesson.

“When we put on one of the largest barbecue festivals in the world that brings in over 150,000 people to our community, I think we know we do it right,” he says. “So I put ours up against anyone and welcome Mr. Colbert if he'd love to come to the community.”

Clark is not the only one to flame Colbert's comments. Gov. Roy Cooper has weighed in, saying they're fighting words and suggesting the late-night star has a mustard problem - a swipe at the style of ‘cue for which Colbert's native South Carolina is famous.

Just not quite as famous as ours, of course.

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