Summer has arrived at last, and along with the smells of freshly cut grass and petrichor, surely not much beats that of a newly lit BBQ.
29th May – 4th June marks the UK’s 27th National BBQ Week (with many of us at jellybean planning our own bank holiday BBQ). The history of BBQ arguably dates back to when man first cooked meat over fire. Barbecue itself, comes from the word barbacoa, for the process of cooking meat over an open flame so named by the indigenous Taino people of the Caribbean and brought back to Europe by Spanish explorers in the 16th century.
Modern BBQ is a different beast altogether, with countries and even specific regions, claiming their own specialised technique for the perfect cook. Below, we round up some of the key flavour profiles from around the world.
Asado: Argentina’s national dish, Asado is South America’s answer to the BBQ. Cooked over an open fire called a parilla, expect beef (what else) as well as chorizo, morcilla and provoleta.
Braai: A fundamental part of South African culture, and a social occasion at its heart, most families have a smaller-style Braai once a week or even a breakfast Braai should the opportunity present itself. Like a classic American BBQ, Braai is a celebration of grilled food that must be cooked over coals (but never gas).
Hāngī: Using the volcanic rock that makes up the islands of New Zealand, a Hāngī is a Maori ‘earth oven’, with meat cooked low and slow underground to create a feast for sharing.
Char Siu: Literally translating to ‘fork roasted’, Char Siu is the sticky, sweet flavour of Chinese BBQ’d pork. Incorporating classic Chinese ingredients of five-spice, hoisin, honey and soy, it’s best served with rice or noodles or as a filling for buns.
Kansas City: US barbecue is fiercely regional with Kansas City style championing a thick, sweet BBQ sauce (more on that here) and famous for the Burnt End, a classic cut taken from the half point of a smoked brisket.
Memphis: Meanwhile in Memphis, pork ribs – wet or dry – are the hero dish. How the ribs are prepared is the key determiner, with pitmasters brushing wet ribs with sauce before during and after cooking, and their counterpart getting their flavour from a dry rub before cooking.
Alabama: Alabama’s white barbecue sauce – with its mayo base – is what makes this region’s BBQ iconic. Commonly served with poultry, it’s also a key ingredient in some classic sides including coleslaw and potato salad.
Want to try it all? If you’d rather be doing the eating than the grilling, McCormick and DJ BBQ have recently compiled their list of London and Dublin’s Best BBQ Joints so whatever your mood (and the weather), you can enjoy some outstanding examples of BBQ from around the world. Check them out here.
And don’t forget to share your BBQ dishes with us on social @jellybeanagency