Bar-B-Que Across the United States

Bar-b-que goes by a number of monikers around the country, ranging from bar-b-cue to barbe-cue and even BBQ, it seems as if every area of the country has some variation on this particular culinary delight. What does unite all of these variations is the basic way that the chicken, beef, or pork is prepared.

Where Did It Come From?

Ask where bar-be-que came from and you are sure to get plenty of different answers. Many point to the fact that ancient man cooked meat over an open fire. Others hold that it emerged as a special dish during the Spanish exploration of the New World. Still others will claim that modern bar-be-que is a thoroughly modern American invention that developed during Colonial times.

The Basics of Bar-B-Que

In most places, the meat is prepared in one of two ways. Some favor the use of smokers to slowly cook the meat until it is completely done and tender. Others will use an open fire pit and possible a spit in order to turn the meat over a fire. Both approaches result in meat that has a decidedly smoky flavor.

Depending on local custom, the meat may be brushed with some type of sauce while it is cook-ing. More commonly, the meat is allowed to slow cook with nothing more than some added liquid to keep it from drying out.

Once the meat is cooked, it is usually chopped into a semi-fine mass or pulled gently into larger pieces. Both approaches make it easy to serve the meat with or without some type of bread or bun.

Choosing a Sauce

Sauces for barbecue range from mild tomato based products to spicy combinations that include all sorts of peppers. Some of the sauces are little more than a combination of equal parts of catsup (ketchup) and yellow mustard. Others boost the flavor quotient by adding in pepper sauce, molasses, or brown sugar.

A popular alternative in many parts of the American South is known as white sauce. This par-ticular recipe calls for vinegar, granulated sugar, and mayonnaise. Using more mayonnaise results in a thicker product that can also be used as a dip for bread and chips.