Everyone loves a BBQ and here in the UK we are smack in the middle of BBQ season, where stores run out of charcoal, firelights, meat and the BBQ’S themselves. The BBQ popularity remains eternal world wide.
In America you have a portrait of meat on a grill in someone’s backyard, people all over the world bow down to the altar of meat on the heat, it is one of the oldest and most diverse forms of cooking in the world, from whole hogs in the south (becoming a firm wedding favourite) to chicken skewers and crickets from a street vendor in japan, all countries participate to their cultural versions of a BBQ. Here’s a look at how barbecue is interpreted across the world.
Place of Origin: Hawaii
What is it?: “luau” generally describes a social gathering rather than any particular food served at said gathering, it referred to a celebration often featuring a whole pig cooked inside a mesquite-fueled underground oven called an imu. Called kālua, the meat is stuffed with hot rocks (which also line the imu), wrapped in banana or ti leaves, and covered in wet burlap and sand before cooking for a total of six to seven hours.
Place of origin: Turkey
What it is: Şiş kebap, is the Turkish version of kebab, a dish that’s nearly ubiquitous in Middle Eastern cuisine. Like all kebabs, it’s a pretty simple style: chunks of meat on a skewer, grilled. It’s distinguished from similar foods, like churrasco, which uses beef, or even doner kebab, which is closer to a gyro, by its use of lamb as a base and the frequent addition of vegetables to the skewer.
Place of origin: India
What it is: Indian cuisine is famous for their signature clay oven where meat is cooked at extremely high temperatures. Tandoori chicken, for example, involves seasoning the chicken with yoghurt, garam and other spices before cooking. It’s a staple on indian menu’s in the UK and America.
Place of origin: Philippines
What it is: Originating in Spain, lechón is now most popular in the Philippines and Latin America. Similar to a hog roast, it is a whole pig skewered on a wooden stick and spit roasted over coals for several hours with occasional basting, this makes for crispy, full flavoured pork, but due to the lengthy cooking process it’s a dish more for special occasions.
Place of origin: Brazil
What it is: Churrasco refers to various kinds of meat but typically it is beef, skewered and cooked at high heat over grill or open flame, Churrascarias are infamous for unloading skewer after skewer onto plates, so this dish is definintely quantity over quality, depending on the country, it’s frequently served with chimichurri, french fries, salad or egg.
Place oforigin: China
What it is: A mainstay of Cantonese cuisine, char siu’s name—which literally translates to “fork roast”—derives from its cooking technique: spearing pork seasoned with five-spice powder, honey, fermented bean curd, and other seasonings on long forks, then cooking them over a fire or in a covered oven. Other additions frequently include maltose, to give the sauce a thick, sticky texture, and food coloring.
Place of origin: Mexico
What it is: Besides being the most underrated meat option at Chipotle, barbacoa refers to meat, typically beef or goat, wrapped in maguey leaves and slow-cooked in an underground pit. Next time your’e having burritos with friends, here is a fun fact: “barbacoa” is actually the origin of the term “barbecue”
Place of origin: South Africa
What it is: “Braai” refers as much to an event as a specific dish. Originating with South Africa’s Afrikaans-speaking white settlers, the braai centers on cooking meat, contributed potluck-style, with a wood-burning braaistand, or grill. Popular components include skewered lamb, sosatie, and boerewors, a South African sausage. A popular, non-grilled component to the meal is pap, a corn-based porridge similar to polenta or grits
Place of origin: Korea
What it is: If there’s any country more closely associated with the word “barbecue” than the United States and the UK, it’s Korea, and there’s no Korean barbecue dish better known than bulgogi. This consists of thinly sliced beef marinated with sesame, scallions, soy sauce, and occasionally natural tenderizers like pear, bulgogi is served alongside fresh vegetables and herbs.
Place of origin: Japan
What it is: People in the UK might think of yakitori as an appetizer at their local sushi joint, but in Japan it’s a popular street food. The bamboo skewers are loaded up with chicken, grilled over white charcoal (which burns longer, at a lower temperature, and doesn’t produce smoke), and often served with alcohol. Yakitori also serves as a general term for grilled, skewered meat, but typically refers to either chicken meat or chicken innards