The first barbecuers may well have been prehistoric cavemen. Anthropologists say they may have started roasting meat some 1.4 million years ago. Language development didn't occur until 200,000 B.C. or later. Other sources say this originated in the Caribbean where the native Indians used wood gratings over a slow fire to cook strips of meat.
Lexington, North Carolina is known as the Barbecue Capital of the World. October is Barbecue Month there, with a month-long Annual Barbecue Festival. The city's first barbecue restaurant opened in 1919; there are currently over 20 barbecue restaurants.
People in the Northeast U.S. are the heaviest barbecuers in the nation. The next most frequent barbecues are in the North Central region of the U.S., followed by the South and then the Western U.S.
The word "barbecue" may have come from the French phrase "barbe a queue" (from whiskers to tail). The term refers to the original method in which a whole animal was cooked on a spit over an open fire), or the Taino Indian word for their method of cooking fish over a pit of coals (barbacoa). Another source says that roast mutton in Romanian translates into "barbec." (This may surprise many who think it came from a ranch in Texas called the "Bar B Q"!!!!)
Three out of four American households own a grill and they use it on average of five times per month.
The word steak is derived from an old Saxon word, steik, meaning meat on a stick. The Saxons and Jutes, who lived in what is now Denmark, brought along their skills as cattlemen when they conquered Great Britain. They favored beef cooked on a pointed stick over a campfire.
Now some other foods and drink, and how about another American favorite, PIZZA! (Just one way to spell that, as far as I know!)
There are approximately 61,269 pizzerias in the United States. Each man, woman and child in America eats an average of 46 slices (23 pounds) of pizza a year.
Pepperoni is America's favorite topping (36 percent of all pizza orders); we eat approximately 251,770,000 pounds per year. Other popular pizza toppings are mushrooms, extra cheese, sausage, green pepper and onion. Anchovies always rank last on the list of favorite toppings. (Go figure! I love anchovies on pizza, but I forego the pleasure if sharing with someone else.)
Around the world, toppings vary greatly to reflect regional preferences. In Japan, for instance, eel and squid are favorites. In Pakistan, curry is a big seller. In Russia, red herring is a topping of choice and Australians enjoy shrimp and pineapple on their pies as well as barbecue toppings. Costa Ricans favor coconut.
Modern pizza was born in 1889 when Queen Margherita Teresa Giovanni, the consort of Umberto I, king of Italy, visited Naples. Don Raffaele Esposito, who owned a tavern-like place called Pietro Il Pizzaiolo, was asked to prepare a special dish in honor of the Queen's visit. Esposito developed a pizza featuring tomatoes, mozzarella cheese (a never before used ingredient made from the milk of water buffalo) and basil - ingredients bearing the colors red, white and green for the Italian flag. He named it the Margherita Pizza, after the guest of honor. Thus, the modern-day tomato-and-cheese pizza was born.
Marie Antionette's sister, Marie Carolina, wife of Ferdinand I of Sicily and Naples, had ovens built in the forest so she could enjoy pizza while the Royal Hunting Party feasted on wild ducklings and pigs killed in the hunt. (Huh. Why didn't she offer to give the masses pizza instead of cake??? She might have fared better!!)
The world's largest pizza was built on October 11, 1987 by Lorenzo Amato and Louis Piancone. The pizza covered 10,000 square feet and measured 140 feet across. It weighed in at 44,457 pounds, consisting of, among other items, 18,174 pounds of flour, 1,103 pounds of water, 6,445 pounds of sauce, 9,375 pounds of cheese and 2,387 pounds of pepperoni. The pie was cut into 94,248 slices and eaten by more than 30,000 spectators at the baking in Havana, Florida.
And what goes with both BBQ and Pizza? BEER, of course!!!
Beer has been a popular beverage for a long time. Babylonian clay tablets show detailed recipes of beer making in 4300 BC. Beer was also brewed by the ancient Chinese, Assyrians and Incas. An Egyptian text of 1600 BC gives 100 medical prescriptions using beer. A few years ago, the New Castle Brewery in England brewed 1,000 bottles of Tutankhamun Ale from a 3,200-year old recipe found in the sun temple of Queen Nefertiti.
Brewing is the process of changing water and grain into beer through a yeast catalyst. The quality of the water is extremely important. Hard water produce a bitter ale, soft water produce bitter lager. Barley or hops, or a combination of them, is used for the grain. Getting dry grain ready for fermentation is called malting. The grain is steeped in water until it sprouts. The sprouting or germination is not allowed to end naturally but is interrupted either by drying or roasting in kilns.
The best taste usually is acquired at an alcohol contents of 4.7% ethanol per volume. Less than that results in a beer with a bland taste. More than that and the higher alcohols (butanol, pentanol etc) become overpowering and spoils the taste. The strongest beer type by alcohol content is doppelbock, which is usually 8%-10% ethanol by its volume content. The strongest beer brand in production is German "Eisbock", with some 14% ethanol by volume.
The oldest brewery in Munich, the Augustiner brewery, was founded in 1294, when, on the order of the bishop of Freising, an Augustinian monastery was established at the Haberfeld, just outside the gates of the city. Munich was famous for its breweries operated by monks.
Ice beer is produced by freezing the brew and filtering the ice crystals, increasing the alcohol content. This process was already known in the Middle Ages to "cold-distil" brandy from wine, and the ancient Chinese produced rice hooch that way. The Canadians adopted the cold-distillation method for ice beer.
Commercial beer making was established in 1200 AD in present-day Germany. In 1506, the German Purity Law is issued, specifying that beer ingredients must only be water, barley, wheat and hops. Bottling of beer started in 1605. Currently worldwide, 20,000 brands of beer are brewed in 180 styles, from ales, lagers, pilsner and stouts to bitters, cream ales and iced beer.
Who knew all that went into making beer?
OK, there you are, go on about your business, wiser for the reading time you spent here, and if you're like me, H.U.N.G.R.I.E.R than you were a few minutes ago!! LOL!! All the sudden, I can't wait to have dinner!!