July 4th is the most popular day for barbecuing in the US. As it’s just around the corner, we’re taking a look at this age-old tradition.
Here is a countdown of the top 10 facts that our researchers discovered about BBQ:
10. Prehistoric cavemen may have been the first barbecuers! Anthropologists say that roasting meat started 1.4 million years ago. Others argue that this method originated in the Caribbean, where native Indians used wood gratings to cook strips of meat over a slow fire.
9. People in the Northeast US are the most frequent barbecuers in the nation.
8. Etymologists believe that the word barbecue comes from barabicu, a word first found in the language of the Taíno people of the Caribbean and the Timucua of Florida.
7. President Lyndon Johnson installed barbecues on the White House roof, and hosted the first White House barbecue which featured Texas-style ribs.
6. The first McDonald’s restaurant was a barbecue restaurant.
5. George Washington had rocking barbecue parties! In a 1769 diary entry, he writes that he “went in to Alexandria to a barbecue and stayed all night.” This was before he was President.
4. Grilling was once dominated by men, but this has changed in recent years, and today, 49% of chefs who barbecue are female.
3. Barbecue sauce originated hundreds of years ago. The first known recipe consisted of a blend of vinegar and peppers – not so different from modern renditions.
2. 75% of American households own a grill, and use it an average of five times per month.
1. Barbecuing is a “competitive sport.” There are hundreds of organized barbecue competitions every year throughout the US. The most famous are in Memphis and Kansas City. Both cities claim to be the barbecue capital of the US.
Will you be barbecuing this July 4th? What’s on your menu?