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A Global History

If there is one thing the United States takes seriously (outside of sports), it’s barbecue. Different in every region, barbecuing is an art, and Americans take pride in their special blend of slow-cooked meat, spices, and tangy sauces. But the US didn’t invent the cooking form, nor do Americans have a monopoly on it—from Mongolian lamb to Fijian pig and Chinese char siu, barbecue’s endless variations have circled the globe. In this history of this red-blooded pursuit, Jonathan Deutsch and Megan J. Elias explore the first barbecues of ancient Africa, the Arawak origins of the word, and define what it actually is.
Traveling to New Zealand for the Maori’s hangi, Hawaii for kalua pig, Mexico for barbacoa de cabeza, and Spain for a taste of bull roast, Barbecue looks at the incredible variety of the food around the world. Deutsch and Elias also discuss barbecue’s status as a masculine activity, the evolution of cooking techniques and barbecuing equipment technology, and the growth of competitive barbecuing in the United States. Rounding out the book are mouthwatering recipes, including an 1877 Minneapolis recipe for a whole roast sheep, a 1942 pork spare ribs recipe from the Ozarks, and instructions for tandoori lamb chops and Chinese roast duck. A celebration of all things smoky, meaty, and delicious, Barbecue makes the perfect gift for backyard grillers and professional roasters.

144 pages | 50 color plates, 10 halftones | 4 3/4 x 7 3/4 | © 2014


Food and Gastronomy

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“Deutsch and Elias infuse their short, light-hearted history with anecdotes and recipes that will appeal to the more general reader. For example, Cantonese barbecued pork was allegedly invented by a careless young man who burned down a house with nine piglets inside. The destruction was, apparently, a small price to pay for the joy of eating charred pig flesh. . . . While seeking to entertain, Barbecue urges us to undertake a deeper analysis, considering how a subculture of barbecue has transformed the process into a competitive sport played around the world, most notably in the U. S.”

Times Literary Supplement

Table of Contents

Introduction: Smoke and Meat

1. Barbecue Beginnings

2. Man and Feast

3. Poles, Holes, Racks and Ovens: The Technology of Barbecue

4. A World of Barbecue

5. Competition and Connoisseurship

6. Sauces and Sides



Select Bibliography

Websites and Associations


Photo Acknowledgements



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