People have been preparing food over a flame for millennia. As a matter of fact, fire was first used for cooking and ever since then our history is changed. This is also the same moment when people started discussing about the best way to prepare meat over a flame.
Barbecuing and grilling as we know it today, has a relatively short history. From the moment people figured out how to cook inside their homes, cooking and preparing food outside became less attractive, but there is a huge number of people who are trying to preserve this tradition. Barbecuing is especially popular during some festive events, holidays and when the weather is right, many people love to spend they non-working days in the yard, preparing some barbecued meat. According to many food experts, this method (although it is not very new) is one of the latest methods of preparation of food.
Types of barbecuing
According to the same experts, there are two different types of barbecuing practiced in the United States today – beef and pork. These types are closely related to the places where they are practiced because of the abundance of one type of meat over the other.
Pork barbecue was developed in the Southern states and beef barbecue rose out in Texas. What is similar for the both types of barbecuing is the fact that people use big chunks of meat (in some cases the entire animal) on top of the barbecue. The meat is barbecued at a low temperature. There are people who are specialized only in one of these types, but most BBQ fans know how to prepare food in both styles.
Specific styles for specific regions
We will start with the region where it all started about 200 years ago – The South. In this region, as previously mentioned, back then the meat prepared on a barbecue consisted mostly of pork. However, they have also used mutton and some beef while preparing it slowly on a low burning heat source. What this BBQ was famous for were the different BBQ sauces. Some of them were very sweet (made of sweet tomatoes) while others that include chili peppers were obviously very hot. It is also worth mentioning that the pork and ribs are especially popular in the Central part of this region. They use sauce as a greaser and some interesting herbs and spices to make the food spicier. Today, most people serve the barbecued meat with French fries, cornbread and baked beans. As we go west, we will se more and more people using beef instead of pork.
Barbecuing is not an unusual practice on the East Coast. For decades, food lovers from this region have prepared pork and used various sauces to get the specific taste of eastern BBQ. They are also known for the side dishes – hushpuppies (a special cornmeal pastry) and coleslaw. Another thing that is specific is the use of vinegar sauces. These sauces come in different variants – some of them are packed with tomatoes while others are rich in yellow mustard. In addition, when this sauce is used, people usually use stew or bread as a side dish.
The history of barbecue in the United States is very long and the fact is that the barbecue has evolved over years. However, those who want to try authentic American barbecue can always try that in some of the Southern states.