BBQ has a long, deep history that stretches across time, cultures
Ever wonder why eating barbecue satisfies you in a way that salad and tofu just don’t? Why you sometimes — OK, often — find yourself craving the slow-smoked richness and flavor of barbecue in a way you can’t explain, or imagine with any other kind of food?
Part of it is just meat, which fills an empty stomach better than vegetables or carbohydrates. But there’s more to it than that. Meat slow-cooked over flame — whether it’s smoked meat in China, braai grilling in South Africa or the New Orleans flavor and magic of VooDoo BBQ & Grill in America — transcends time and place and takes us all back to the early days of the species.
Seriously. Think about it. Barbecue probably was the first prepared meal on Earth. And once humans began preparing their food, civilization naturally followed: the organized rituals of the hunt; the domestication of dogs to assist in hunting game and raising livestock; and the organization of the family around food preparation.
- Scientists at the University of Haifa in Israel discovered in 2007 that cave dwellers in the Carmel area cooked their meat over fire or embers about 200,000 years ago. Anthropologists could tell by the scorch and teeth marks on the bones of ancient cattle, deer and boars.
- The ancient Greeks celebrated victory in battle or the ends of long marches with barbecue. The Iliad mentions spits and five-pronged forks the Greeks used to roast meat basted with salt and wine — which the ancients had discovered was a good way to keep meat from spoiling.
- The Book of Exodus makes reference to God ordering an altar for the burnt offerings of animals. This wasn’t just for sacrificial purposes — Aaron and his associates were allowed to eat the flesh of a roasted ram.
- Here’s where the word “barbecue” comes from: The first native people Christopher Columbus encountered in the New World were members of the Arawak tribe, natives who cooked and preserved their meat on frames of green wood perched high over fires in pits. Their term for the setup (or the Spaniards’ version of it): barbacoa.
Now, you don’t have to know any of this stuff to appreciate VooDoo BBQ & Grill’s St. Louis-style ribs, brisket, jerk chicken or our fabulous sides. But it enriches your experience, doesn’t it? When you dig into VooDoo BBQ’s Graveyard Platter or Slow-Smoked Pulled Pork, you’re immersing yourself in a dining experience that’s been around for hundreds of thousands of years, something that helped make the human race what it is.