May is National Barbecue Month

Published 10:44 am Friday, May 11, 2018

May is designated National Barbecue Month, celebrating one of summer’s favorite types of food. With the abundance of warm weather ahead as summer approaches, folks tend to take to the outdoors to indulge in many different forms of recreation, and of course food is usually a part of the plan.

Not to be confused with merely grilling, barbecue is prepared slowly, smoked at low heat sometimes for as much as a day. Depending on what part of the country you’re in, favorite foods for applying the smoke to can differ, but generally speaking pork and beef ribs, brisket sausages, chicken and just about any other meat may be used.

According to, the term “barbecue” originally referred only to pork cooked over a high smoke fuel source like wood or charcoal. Nowadays, the term is more a reference to the method rather than a certain dish. Historically, the term “barbecue” was first used as a noun by British buccaneer William Dampier in 1697. It is commonly believed the barbecue cooking method originated from aboriginal people in Florida and the Caribbean. It was from these people the use of the word “barbecue” first entered the English language as “barbacoa,” meaning “sacred fire pit.”

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The Days of the Year website at states “supposedly, when Columbus discovered the Americas, he found that many of the natives were roasting meat over a wooden grill. This would give the meat a smoky flavor as it cooked.”

The Days of the Year website additionally states barbecue is so popular in the United States, it can be found at any time of the year.

There is no better time than the present to try your hand at making some barbecue. Simple recipes can be found on the internet and in many cook books, though most people swear their “secret” recipe is the best method and can’t be parted with. However you go about it, be sure to include some quality side dishes, invite some folks over and most importantly, have a good time enjoying some barbecue.