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Is there actually any European influence in American BBQ?


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To me BBQ always seemed like a cooking method of Native Americans and African Americans. The techniques, ingredients are all decidedly non-European.

 

Do you guys think European descended Americans even BBQed before the 1960s or such?

 

Is this a form of a food appropriation? 

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1 minute ago, shawarma_prince said:

To me BBQ always seemed like a cooking method of Native Americans and African Americans. The techniques, ingredients are all decidedly non-European.

 

Do you guys think European descended Americans even BBQed before the 1960s or such?

 

Is this a form of a food appropriation? 

 

 

What?

People have been cooking meat (and vegetables) over open fires since at least neolithic times. Everywhere! It's how cooking began.

I really don't understand your obsession with pinning down where everything began!

 

 

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

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42 minutes ago, Kim Shook said:

However, there is a difference between cooking over an open fire and actual BBQ.  Just sayin'. 

 

Maybe, but it is the origin. And BBQ exists on pretty much every continent. I'm not sure how much in Antartica!

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

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39 minutes ago, shawarma_prince said:

Well American BBQ is cooking slow over low heat which is different than grilling in most part of the world (quickly over high heat).

 

Not necessarily.

 

But the origin is the same and that was your question.

I don't know where you get this idea that everything originates in just one place. Many things have been discovered or invented over and over again in different places.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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liuzhou: "I don't know where you get this idea that everything originates in just one place. Many things have been discovered or invented over and over again in different places".

 

You mean, like this thread? 😇

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Wouldn't it be useful to define barbecue before trying to figure out where it came from?. If you believe it means long cooking over smoke rather than simply grilling over a fire,, then look to places that had plenty of wood to burn. Just a guess here. 

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  • 3 years later...
On 6/18/2020 at 7:51 AM, shawarma_prince said:

To me BBQ always seemed like a cooking method of Native Americans and African Americans. The techniques, ingredients are all decidedly non-European.

 

Do you guys think European descended Americans even BBQed before the 1960s or such?

 

Is this a form of a food appropriation? 

 

The main ingredient and most popular meat in BBQ, pork, was introduced by Europeans to the mew world and BBQ. That is a pretty fundamental contribution, really the most important one if you think about it.

 

American BBQ US a cuisine cultivated by Europeans as well as indigenous people and African Americans going all the way back to colonial times. It was a community event practiced at large celebrations, political rallies, and holidays. George Washington was a Big BBQ practitioner as we're other founding fathers. BBQ was practiced by all colonists even up to New England, so Caucasians have every claim to American BBQ legacy as others. African Americans definitely have a major hand in Southern BBQ because cooking was slave work, but only a small number of people actually owned slaves and BBQ's we're not only happening on rich southern plantations (and not even only in the south). So, while African Americans are big contributors, they did not invent BBQ or practice it exclusively. Whites we're there at the beginning, contributed their own sensibilities, and have been doing it as long as there has been an America and even before.

 

Additionally, "food appropriation"  is a questionable idea as almost all food is aresult of trade, migration, war and conquest, and immigration, with veritably no cuisine being uniquely tied to a single nation historically.

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On 6/18/2020 at 4:51 PM, shawarma_prince said:

To me BBQ always seemed like a cooking method of Native Americans and African Americans. The techniques, ingredients are all decidedly non-European.

 

Do you guys think European descended Americans even BBQed before the 1960s or such?

 

Is this a form of a food appropriation? 

Not sure about European descended Americans, but native Europeans have barbecued animals (roast meat, sometimes slow for a day or so) well before they ever officially reach the "new world" in 1492.

In fact 99.99% of the meat/animals used in american BBQ traveled to America alongside Europeans.

cheers

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4 hours ago, AlaMoi said:

and . . . since it's not been clarified . . . .

 

"BBQ" in Europe is what "grilling" is in the USA.

 

It's not that simple. Both terms are used in different regions around the world including within the USA and Europe.

 

Interestingly, the word 'barbecue' is American, having been borrowed from Haitian barbacòa; whereas 'grill' is borrowed from French, suggesting completely the opposite.

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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veddy interestink . . .

 

I'm personally only familiar with the USA and western European usage.

it would be neat to see a listing of:

Country/Region.......................Term/Word for BBQ .....................Term/Word for Grilling..................Term/Word for Broiling

 

...obviously, a treatise description of what BBQ and Grilling and Broiling physical means is needed - before the country/region"name" can be applied....

 

similar to the US vs UK common names of flours/sugars/etc....

not to mention the flour 'number' descriptions in France/Germany/Italy / et.al.

oh,,,, I feel a headache coming on . . .

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Broil is an ancient word of uncertain origin but certainly not American; most probably French. It was used with the same meaning by Chaucer in the prologue to The Canterbury Tales around 1386, long before America was colonised although he wasn't first. Shakespeare also used it in 1613.

 

Quote

2.2 spec. To cook (meat) by placing it on the fire, or on a gridiron over it; to grill.

   c 1386 Chaucer Prol. 383 He cowde roste, sethe, broille, and frie‥and wel bake a pye. 

 

He could cook, roast, boil, broil and fry ... and well bake a pie.

 

 

I seriously doubt a truly exhaustive study of the regional uses of any of these words is feasible. Different people in some city apartment blocks could use all three to decribe the same process.

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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5 hours ago, Anchobrie said:

Not sure about European descended Americans, but native Europeans have barbecued animals (roast meat, sometimes slow for a day or so) well before they ever officially reach the "new world" in 1492.

In fact 99.99% of the meat/animals used in american BBQ traveled to America alongside Europeans.

cheers

The use of various bbq rigs such as offset stick burners, barrel smokers, and vertical smokers, employing indirect heat and the resulting directed air flow and smoke control, as well as the ingredients spices, and cuts we use, is what makes American Barbecue original and sought after globally.

 

I agree, cooking directly over coals and fire, or "grilling", goes back to before the Neolithic (but Americans do a lot of that as well and it is a cultural cornerstone for us too).  

 

 

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okay.  word origins aside -

. . . .

physically. . . . in USA terminology . . .

"to grill"  is exposing the "target"   - supported on some "structure" - to heat from the bottom, heat intensity 'undefined'

"to broil" is exposing the "target"   - supported on some "structure" - to heat from above, heat intensity 'undefined'

 

"BBQ" is a real can of worms even in US parlance.  my take is low heat, usually indirect, long long cooking time.

basically sous vide without water or bag . . .

high volume operation often employ a vertically rotating chain arrangement - others simple flat racks.

definite worm can . . . .

 

so,,,, how does one classify Greek vertical rotisserie meats ala ''shiskabob' . . . and all fifty spellings thereof . . .

or a USA "ox roast" - on a huge rotating horizontal spit over open coals . . .

or "roasted chicken" on a rotating spit, on a vertically oriented rotating conveyor rack, exposed to heat "from the side" . . .

((in Germany, this was/is "Wiener Wald" style....if you need an image....))

 

should we be concerned, for those other than quaint historians . . . with Shakespearean definitions, or real live today meanings of "words?"

just as US "All Purpose Flour"  is UK "Plain Flour" and US "Bread Flour" is "Strong Flour" . . .

different words for the same thing.

 

the same cooking "methods" identified by different "words" - which is the point.

the etymological word origin(s)  (did  I get that spelling right.....) is not remotely meaningful as to how the "words" are used today.

Edited by AlaMoi (log)
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1 hour ago, mleonnig said:

The use of various bbq rigs such as offset stick burners, barrel smokers, and vertical smokers, employing indirect heat and the resulting directed air flow and smoke control, as well as the ingredients spices, and cuts we use, is what makes American Barbecue original and sought after globally.

 

I agree, cooking directly over coals and fire, or "grilling", goes back to before the Neolithic (but Americans do a lot of that as well and it is a cultural cornerstone for us too).  

 

 

 

I don't think inventing new, perhaps better, more efficient tools to do the same thing affects the origin of the food which is the point of the topic.

 

Also, I don't know where you get the idea that American Barbecue is sought globally. Barbecued / grilled meat is a miniscule minority in most of Asia. Xinjiang barbecue, Mongolian barbecue, Korean barbecue, Vietnamese barbecue, Indian barbecue etc are all hugely popular among the billions of people in Asia. I have lived in China for nearly 30 years and never seen an American barbecue place, although there may be some in Beijing or Shanghai (catering to the Americans working in those cities, not so much to the locals).

 

 

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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17 minutes ago, AlaMoi said:

the etymological word origin(s)  (did  I get that spelling right.....) is not remotely meaningful as to how the "words" are used today.

 

Of course not, but I only added it as an interesting aside, as I said.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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