Published On: Fri, May 25th, 2012

Barbecue is more American than you think… it is a Native American culinary art.

So as America beings the annual ritual of firing up the BBQ grills for the first time, many are unaware how American the art of Barbeque really is. Did you know that Barbeque the way we know it has Native American roots via the caribbean Tainos?

That is right… BBQ is more American than people give it credit for… it is an culinary art passed down by our Native American ancestry.

So I tweeted this out… and since it has been retweeted numerous times, I thought I would look a little deeper at some of the other things that I (and many others do not know about this delicious genre of cuisine).

Some chicken, pork and corn in the barbeque

Some chicken, pork and corn in the barbeque (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here are some facts about BBQ that you probably did not know…

  • The original word for Barbeque was barabicu found in the language of the Taino people of the Carribean and the Timicua of Florida, and entered European languages in the form barbacoa. The word translates as “sacred fire pit.”  The word describes a grill for cooking meat, consisting of a wooden platform resting on sticks. (source wikepedia)
  • Traditional barbacoa involves digging a hole in the ground and placing some meat (usually a whole goat) with a pot underneath it, so that the juices can make a hearty broth. It is then covered with maguey leaves and coal and set alight. The cooking process takes a few hours.
  • It was the Spanish who first introduced the pig into the Americas and to the American Indians. The Indians, in turn, introduced the Spanish to the concept of true slow cooking with smoke. So the next time you have some lechon, you can thank your Spanish heritage for that meal.
  • Variations of Barbeque are seen all over the world but in Latin America… it is known as Churrasco or Asado. For example in Colombia they use a grill called “Ternera a la Llanera”, In the Caribbean they use a “Caja China”.
  • There are companies that make Latino style “Caja China” style grills that can roast a full size pig and handle all your other BBQ meet simultaneously. You can see them at Shop Latin Touch (disclaimer: This is not an ad. We have not been paid to endorse this product, we just think it is cool)
With that… I leave you to sazonar tu carne, fire up the grill and enjoy a TRUE American tradition of eating BBQ. If you want to invite me to your next TAINO celebration… email me!


As I am,
George Torres


Enhanced by Zemanta

Barbecue is more American than you think… it is a Native American culinary art.