The history of barbeque in America is a rich mixture of flavor, fun, rivalries and regional histories. It goes without saying but Americans love barbeque and its history centers on time and place. Americans eat BBQ from coast to coast, but head south of the Mason-Dixon line and that’s where you’ll find distinct flavors and cooking styles. Barbeque began in the South and Southerners cook up their local varieties with zest and zeal. Here is a bite size history of Southern style BBQ and tradition.
The term barbeque came stateside from Spanish explorers. According to Time magazine, in an article titled A Brief History of Barbecue, experts believe the term Barbecue hails from the Spanish and, “upon landing in the Caribbean, used the word barbacoa to refer to the natives' method of slow-cooking meat over a wooden platform.”
During the Civil War era, barbeque cuisine was born at big events like picnics, plantation parties, church meetings and family gatherings. A wild boar would see his demise at these southern festivities that brought people of all social and economic classes together for food and flavor.
The South is littered with local varieties of barbecue sauce and rivalries on the best barbecue flavors. Memphis barbecue is known for tomato and vinegar sauces; barbecue in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee is served with sweat tomato sauces on pork; and, in Lexington, NC the locals brag that they live in the “Barbecue Capital of the World” – to some dispute, obviously.
Interesting fact according to BBQMyWay.com, the term pulled pork is derived from term, ‘pull the pork.’ Plantation owners would give the cheap cuts of pork to the slaves and they learned to slow cook the cuts over coals. The slaves were would "pull the pork" off of the coals when the meat was done and could easily be pulled off the roast.
In Kansas City, they boast of having more restaurants serving barbecue than any other city in our country. Their menus showcase slow smoked meats (pork, beef, chicken, turkey, and mutton) paired with regional sauces that are sweet, spicy and tangy.
In central Texas, barbeque is sold by the pound and includes beef rib, brisket, chicken, pork ribs and sausage; sauce is served up as a side dip. Utensils are an afterthought as central Texans use their hands to eat the meat.
For every local variety of barbeque there is a grill that perfectly pairs with regional recipes. The BBQ Depot has the equipment and grills to prepare your next regionally inspired feast, we stock Gas Grills, Charcoal Grills, Electric Grills and Smokers and offer free shipping on order over $100 and usually no sales tax on any item.