During the coldest of winter months, the bone-chilling freeze can even get to the most tough of us and if you're like me, you probably can't wait for the first warm rays of the summer sun. Unfortunately for us, summer is still about 6 months off and it doesn't seem like time travel technology is anywhere on the horizon. Thankfully though, there are some simple, everyday things you can do to warm yourself up during the cold of winter. For me, one of the things that does that is eating one of my favorite summer foods: barbecue.
To celebrate barbecue – and to hopefully provide everyone with a few warmer thoughts, today, I want to share with you my list of 5 things you didn't know about barbecue. Enjoy!
1. The first barbecuers started a while ago… like 1.4 million years ago. Yup, the original people to do it were cavemen – which means you can probably assume sanitation wasn’t their strong suit. On the other hand, their Wooly Mammoth burgers were excellent.
2. Nobody really knows where the word “barbecue” comes from. Many speculate it could have originated from the French word, “de barbe a queue,” mean means ‘whiskers to tail.’ Others think it came from the American-Indian word, “barbacoa,” meaning “wood.”
(Side note: Can we also mention that nobody seems to really agree on how to spell the word either? Barbecue, barbeque, bbq…)
3. In the US, there are actually several distinct regional variations of barbecue, which include styles from Memphis, Carolina, Kansas City andTexas.
Memphis is renowned for its ribs and pulled pork-shoulder, which come both wet and dry. For wet ribs, sauce is brushed on both before and after cooking, while dry ribs are seasoned with a dry rub.
Carolina barbecue on the other hand is known for their pork (they smoke the ENTIRE hog), which they serve with a tangy, vinegar-based sauce.
Kansas City barbecue uses a wide variety of meat which is served with a thick and sweet sauced made of tomatoes and molasses.
Last but certainly not least, is Texas barbecue, which is known it's beef that they smoke over mesquite for hours. Mmm… Cowboy-style brisket is delicious!
4. The technique for low and slow smoke roasting began in… China? Yup, you got that right. Researchers believe “barbecuing” started in the far east, where scholars have found early kitchens with devices designed for smoking meats. It's thought that smoking originated as a way to keep meat for long periods without refrigeration.
5. American barbecue predates the Civil War when crowds used to gather around the cooking of whole pigs.
Looking for some of the best barbecue in America? Here are some spots you might want to try:
- Pecos Pit BBQ in Seattle, WA
Not in these areas? Don't worry: You can discover great, local barbecue joints near you on Scout.me.
Question: Where is your favorite place to get barbecue? Let us know by leaving a comment!