Like all of the great foodways of the world, modern-day barbecue is riddled in history and culture. While the Spanish introduced the term barbacoa to Europe after discovering the technique during Columbian exploration in the Caribbean, the method of cooking meat over fire or indirect heat is as old as cavemen. Barbacoa, which ended up being synonymous with traditional Mexican barbecue, derived itself from the term barabicu which the Taino people of the Carribean used prior to Spanish conquest of the New World — or so one story says. Many other folktales exist about the history of the term barbecue. According to one tale, French visitors of the Caribbean described the process of cooking a whole pig as barbe à queue, which translates to “from beard to tail.” I might start using that terminology instead of the trendy “nose-to-tail” method of cooking! Regardless of stories passed down through generations, barbecue is undoubtedly one of the most popular cooking methods in the United States, varying from region to region with the people who cook it. (more…)
This probably won’t come as a surprise, but getting married in the South is a big deal, replete with lots of traditions, particularly when it comes to food. Like all customs, Southern wedding food traditions vary from region to region (and bride to bride!). As wedding season gets into full swing, here’s a look at some classic Southern wedding food customs.
Southern wedding festivities start long before the big day. Traditionally, bridal showers are held anywhere from a few months to a few weeks before the wedding, and in the South, they’re just as important as the wedding—if not more so. That’s right: it’s not uncommon for Southern bridal showers to be fancier than the wedding. (more…)
I have never lived above the Mason Dixon line. I was born in Durham, North Carolina (regrettably at Duke and not UNC). Just before kindergarten, my family moved to Palm City, Florida. And while one can certainly argue that Florida is not part of the South, it was the time I spent there that I developed a strong love for the ocean, where my imagination flourished, and where I learned the simple truth that if you’re at the beach, you’re eating fried chicken. (more…)