Philadelphia, PA - The history of barbecue is securely established around the world. The term barbecue at the same time brings to mind the United States, especially the South. Its beginning goes back to the Civil War and beyond. Therefore, the origin of American barbecue is actually the history of America itself.
Although American barbecue's history claims that it originated in the south, it's actually more than just one region, truth be told. The flavor or ingredients used, and sometimes even the method of cooking, varies from state to state as well as town to town. The best way to understand BBQ is by examining each region.
BBQ in the South
In the South, the meat is not what we think of as BBQ; they usually use mutton and beef cooked solely to use slow-cooking methods. They also use a wide range of BBQ sauces to go with each type of BBQ that lands somewhere between a sweet tomato sauce or a fiery red-hot one.
East Coast BBQ
The East Coast has a lot of pork and vinegar sauces to go along with it. The side dishes are time-honored coleslaw and hushpuppies - a cornmeal pastry. The vinegar sauces come in countless variations, such as vinegar sauces rich in tomato, or a yellow mustard-based sauce, with sides that include cornbread and stew or hash with rice.
South Central BBQ
In the Central South, the meat continues to be pork as well as ribs. However, the way it's cut is different, and it's pulled as an alternative to chopping. Slow-cooked and shredded by hand as well as covered with copious amounts of sauce. The ribs are covered with sauce or coated with a mix of sharp spices before hitting the pit. The sauce is a sweet tomato sauce along with a hint of pepper and molasses. The sides tend to be coleslaw, French fries, baked beans, and cornbread.
What is Barbacoa
Side Norte: No one is, in fact, certain where the term barbecue got its start. The conventional wisdom is that the Spanish, after discovering the Caribbean, used the term barbacoa to refer to the natives' technique of slow-cooking meat on top of a wooden platform.
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