Regional variations of barbecue
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Barbecue varies by the type of meat, sauce, rub, or other flavorings used, the point in barbecuing at which they are added, the role smoke plays, the equipment and fuel used, cooking temperature, and cooking time.
The meat may be ground, for hamburgers, or processed into sausage or kebabs. The meat may be marinated or rubbed with spices before cooking, basted with a sauce or oil before, during or after cooking, or any combination of these.
- 1 Africa
- 2 Caribbean
- 3 East Asia
- 4 Southeast Asia
- 5 Central and Southern Asia
- 6 Europe
- 7 Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean
- 8 North America
- 9 South America
- 10 Oceania
- 11 See also
- 12 References
The word braaivleis (English: //; Afrikaans pronunciation: [ˈbrɑːifləis]) is Afrikaans for grilled meat. The word braai (plural braais) is Afrikaans for barbecue or grill and is a social custom in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi. The term originated with the Afrikaans-speaking people, but has since been adopted by South Africans of many ethnic backgrounds. The word vleis is Afrikaans for meat.
The word has been adopted by English-speaking South Africans and can be regarded as another word for barbecue, in that it serves as a verb when describing how food is cooked and a noun when describing the cooking equipment, such as a grill. The traditions around a braai can be considerably different from a barbecue, even if the method of food preparation is very similar.
While wood was formerly the most widely used braai fuel, in modern times the use of charcoal, briquettes and gas has increased due to their convenience, as with barbecues elsewhere in the world. There has, however, been a renewed interest in the use of wood after the South African government started its invasive plant species removal programme. Many households now own both a gas and wood or charcoal braai.
Similar to a potluck party, braais are casual and relaxed social events where families and friends converge on a picnic spot or someone's home (normally the garden or veranda) with their own meat, salad, or side dish in hand. Meats are the mainstay of the South African braai. They typically include boerewors, sosaties, kebabs, marinated chicken, pork and lamb chops, steaks, sausages of different flavors and thickness, and possibly even racks of spareribs. Fish and Rock Lobster, commonly called kreef in Afrikaans, are also popular in coastal areas.
The other main part of the meal in some regions of the country is pap (//, meaning porridge). This dish is a thickened porridge, or krummelpap (crumb porridge), traditionally eaten with the meat. Pap is made from finely ground corn/maize (similar to polenta), and is a staple of local African communities and may be eaten with a tomato and onion sauce, a monkey gland sauce, or a more spicy chakalaka at a braai. A common side dish, the braaibroodjie, is a grilled sandwich containing onions, tomatoes, and cheese, with apricot jam and grated cheese being another staple popular among children.
Sometimes this activity is also known as a tjop en dop (dop being Afrikaans slang for an alcoholic drink, literally meaning "cap" or "bottle top", and tjop being the informal Afrikaans term for lamb chop) when significant amounts of alcohol are involved.
A braai is a social occasion that has specific traditions and social norms. In black and white South African culture, women rarely cook meat at a social gathering, as this is normally the preserve of men. The men gather round the braaistand (the grill) outdoors and cook the meat, while women prepare the pap, salads, desserts, and vegetables in the kitchen. The meal is subsequently eaten outside by the braai stand, since these gatherings are normally hosted during the long summer months. The cooking of the meat is not the prerogative of all the men attending, as one person is normally in charge. He will attend to the fire, check that the coals are ready, and cook the meat. Etiquette holds that others are not permitted to interfere with the braai operator's duties, except if expressly asked to help. Other men may assist in the cooking, but generally only partake in fireside conversations while having a drink in hand. What often makes a braai different from barbecue in that it is the 'go-to' social event for many South Africans, from Christmas Day, to graduation parties, to birthdays and every day get togethers, used as a means to celebrate. Other cultures may reserve a barbecue as a special event in its own right.
General Motors South Africa used the term braai in the 1970s in its localized jingle "Braaivleis, rugby, sunny skies, and Chevrolet" to advertise their cars in South Africa — equivalent to the slogan "baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet" in the US and, to a lesser extent, "football, meat pies, kangaroos & Holden Cars" used in Australia.
Braai Day is a celebration of South Africa's rich cultural heritage and its unique national pastime, the braai. It aims to unite all South Africans by encouraging them to partake in a fun and tangible activity shared by all demographic groups, religious denominations, and body types. It is celebrated annually by South Africans across the world on 24 September (South Africa's Heritage Day). The event was initiated by the Mzansi Braai Institute in South Africa in 2005 and, since 2008, has been promoted under the Braai4Heritage banner, a non-profit initiative. On 5 September 2007, Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu was appointed patron of National Braai Day (Now Braai4Heritage). The initiative received the endorsement of South Africa's National Heritage Council (NHC) in 2008.
Bring-en-Braai is an event that can range between the size of just a backyard barbeque, to a large Straatbraai (similar to a block party). The purpose of the event is that guests bring their own food and drinks pre-prepared (with the exception of the meat). Etiquette states that leftover food and drinks (with the exception of homemade foods: like Casseroles) are meant for the host as a parting gift.
Barbecue is popular in all of the Caribbean islands, with each having its own local variations and traditions.
Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico
The indigenous Native Taíno peoples method has involved slowly cooking meat over a wooden mesh of sticks. In Spanish-speaking islands of the Caribbean, such as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and especially Puerto Rico, lechon is a common delicacy. Lechon consists of taking a whole pig, slicing it from the head to tail along the chest and stomach, and slow-grilling the hog as it is turned on a rod.
Jamaican jerk chicken is an example of barbecue in Jamaica.
China, Hong Kong and Macau
Chuanr are small pieces of meat on skewers roasted over charcoal or, sometimes, electric heat. Chuanr originated in the Xinjiang province of China and in recent years has spread throughout the rest of the country as a popular street food, most notably in northern China. Chuanr was traditionally made from lamb (yáng ròu chuàn, 羊肉串), which is still the most common, but now, chicken, pork, beef, and various types of seafood can also be used. In busy tourist areas, chuanr can also be made with various insects, bugs, birds, and other exotic animals. Barbecue can also be found in night markets and in some restaurants, often sold on skewers. Some restaurants allow customers to barbecue at their own table; many of these are all-you-can-eat chain restaurants.
In the Cantonese-speaking regions, pork barbecue is made with a marinade of honey and soy sauce, and cooked in long, narrow strips. This form of barbecue is known as char siu, and is commonly eaten and is a common streetfood. In addition, outdoor barbecues (usually known simply as BBQ) are popular among local residents on short trips to regional parks in the countryside. These are invariably charcoal-fired, with marinated pieces of meat, usually beef, pork, sausage or chicken wings, cooked using long, hand-held forks. Honey is brushed on near the end of cooking. At the same time, foil-wrapped pieces of corn and sweet potato are placed on the hot coals; these take a long time to cook so they are usually eaten at the end of the barbecue. Unlike Western barbecues, everyone gathers around the fire and cooks their own food, so the atmosphere is closer to that of a fondue or a hot pot.
Bulgogi (불고기) is thinly sliced beef (sometimes pork or chicken) marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and chili pepper, and cooked on a grill at the table. It is a main course and is therefore served with rice and side dishes such as kimchi. Bulgogi literally means fire meat. The more common Korean BBQ is called galbi, which are marinated ribs.
Barbecuing is very popular in Japan as part of an outdoor activity. Normally, more vegetables and seafood are incorporated than in the United States, and soy sauce or soy based sauces are commonly used. Occasionally, the Japanese-style fried noodle Yakisoba can be cooked as well. In addition, Jingisukan (mutton), Yakiniku (grilled meat), and Horumonyaki (beef or pork offal) are also used. Yakitori is the Japanese equivalent of shish kebab. Spare ribs, chicken, and steak are also grilled and glazed with teriyaki sauce.
Barbecuing is a popular outdoor activity in Taiwan. Most are fired by charcoal, or sometimes compressed logs, and the food is placed on grills. The most popular item is slices of meat marinated in soy sauce, which is often sandwiched in a piece of toast before being eaten. Seafood and vegetables are also common, sometimes seasoned and wrapped in tinfoil packages before grilling. Outdoor barbecuing is a common way to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival (harvest festival) in Taiwan.
Satay is popular in several Southeast Asian countries including: Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines. It consists of pieces of meat skewered on bamboo sticks marinated in a mixture of spices similar to a curry mix and pulverised peanut. Most common meats are chicken, lamb, and beef, and, in non-Muslim enclaves, one will also find satay made from pork and animal offal. Satay is a mainstay of most Malaysian, Indonesian, and Singaporean barbecues. Traditional satay uses only chicken thigh meat cut into strips before they are skewered. Other types of satay include pork, mutton, and beef.
After the meat has been cooked over a charcoal flame, it is served with a thick, gooey, dipping sauce made from the same mixture as the marinade for the meat, a peanut-tasting, curry-like mixture.
In the mountainous regions of North Borneo, the local Kadazan people's specialities are chicken satay and snake meat satay; the latter, as of 2007, is only available under exceptional circumstances. Before 1990, it was possible to get satay of animals like tapir, elephants, flying fox, goannas and wild boar. Unfortunately, these animals are now rare or endangered and their use in this manner is prohibited.
In the Philippines, Lechon is a centrepiece of the main cultural diet. It is extremely rare for any celebratory occasion not to include it. Philippine lechon is prepared similarly to that of the Spanish-speaking islands of the Caribbean. The hog is opened from head to tail along the belly, and is slow-grilled, turned on a rod over a fire. Even though the Spanish-speaking islands of the Caribbean and the Philippines do not share a common everyday spoken language, it is still referred to with the same pronunciation. This may be due to the fact that both regions were ruled by Spain for several centuries; (linguists estimate that some forty percent of the various Philippine languages contain Spanish loanwords).
Barbecue is also the term for skewered pork or chicken, marinated in, and basted with, a sweetish sauce made from ketchup, pineapple juice or 7-Up. Chicken barbecue is often served with what is popularly known as Java sauce. Bananacue, a dish consisting of plantains, skewered on a stick similar in style to shish kebab, is also commonly cooked.
In the city state of Singapore, barbecue or BBQ, as it is commonly known, is a common feature at social gatherings, but a less common feature of a typical Singaporean’s daily lifestyle and diet. A majority of Singaporeans live in government subsidised apartments or HDB flats. A lack of open space in homes results in BBQ gatherings in parks or chalets. The Singapore National Parks rents out barbecue pits that are placed in popular parks such as: the East Coast Park, Punggol Park, Pasir Ris Park, West Coast Park, Changi Beach Park, Sembawang Park, and Pulau Ubin.
Singapore-styled BBQ is mostly charcoal fired and Singaporeans roast a variety of Southeast Asian and Western food. Besides satay, other BBQ food includes sambal stingray or cuttlefish wrapped in aluminium foil, grilled meat (chicken, pork, beef) marinated in BBQ sauce commonly made from soya sauce, pepper, salt, sugar, and oyster sauce. Taiwanese sausages, chicken franks, and sausages are also grilled. Marshmallows skewered using satay sticks is another highlight of a Singaporean barbecue.
The fire starter used is not the typical lighter fluid or charcoal chimney starter used in western grills. Instead, the fire starter comes in a box of small rolled up briquettes made of sawdust and wax which is lit and placed under a stack of charcoal briquettes.
Central and Southern Asia
India and Pakistan
The tandoor is a form of barbecue, particularly focused on baking, that is common in Northern India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Grilling is also popular, and uses native, local spices, especially the many Curry blend variations. In addition, there is also the grilling of different types of meat covered in a spicy cream based batter called tikka masala. This dish has become one of the most symbolic dishes of Indian cuisine, next to indian curry.
Nomadic Mongolians have several barbecue methods, one of which is Khorkhog. They first heat palm-sized stones to a high temperature over a fire and alternate layers of lamb and stone in a pot. The cooking time depends on the amount of lamb used. It is believed that it is good for one's health to hold the stone used for cooking.
Another way of cooking is a boodog ("boo" means wrap in Mongolian). Usually marmot or goats are cooked in this way. There is no pot needed for cooking boodog, after slaughter and dressing; the innards are put back inside the carcass through a small hole, and the whole carcass is cooked over the fire.
The Mongolian barbecue often found in restaurants is a style of cooking falsely attributed to the mobile lifestyle of nomadic Mongolians. Originating in Taiwan in the mid to late 20th century, the so-called "Mongolian barbecue", a popular dish in American and Canadian Chinese restaurants, consists of thinly sliced lamb, beef, chicken, pork, or other meat, seasonings, vegetables, and noodles, or a combination thereof, which is quickly cooked over a flat circular metal surface that has been heated.
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A traditional cooking method used in, but not exclusive to, the French and Swiss Alps, pierrade involves the usually communal, cooking of meats on a hot stone, situated on the serving table.
Germans are enthusiastic about their version of barbecue, grilling (Grillen), especially in the summertime. It is the one area of traditional home cooking that is a predominantly male activity. Germans grill over charcoal or, increasingly, gas, and grilled meats include variations of the Bratwurst such as Thuringian sausage for example, as well as steaks (especially marinated pork steaks from the shoulder), Frikadellen (minced meat dumplings), Rostbrätel and poultry. Regional festivals feature grilled items ranging from eel to trout, whole sides of pork or beef, chicken, and duck.
Smoking is common practice in German butchering, but pure smoke-based techniques have not yet become popular until a few years ago. An old german barbecue style food is the Mutzbraten in Saxony and Thuringia, a fist-sized piece of meat from the shoulder or comb of a pork with a strong dry marinate from marjoram, pepper and salt, which is cooked and smoked over pieces of birch wood. It is usually served with Rye-wheat bread, Sauerkraut and mustard.
Meanwhile, classic barbecue smoking techniques are also spreading in Germany and even industrially produced pulled meat like pork, chicken and turkey as well as a selection of barbecue sauces and side dishes like cole slaw are available as convenience food in many supermarkets.
Barbecue variations from the United States, Turkey, Greece, other Balkan States, the German-speaking emigrants from the statlar, and the immigrant communities in Germany, with notable traditions of outdoor grilling in Germany developed by immigrants and visitors from the former Soviet Union.
Barbecuing is popular in Mediterranean countries. It is influenced by traditional Mediterranean cuisine. Olive oil is a key part of the Mediterranean barbecue style, as it is in the region's cuisine. The most common items cooked are chicken, beef steaks, souvlakis/brochettes, halloumi cheese, and pita bread, and may be grilled, baked, or both. In addition, some dishes combine grilling with braising for more variety. Often, barbecue meat items are marinated with olive oil and citrus juice mixtures, and then garnished with various herbs and spices; basic persillade and several variations are often put on top of the meat.
Shashlik is the Russian version of shish kebab, and like all other international variants, is cooked on a grill. It is traditionally made of lamb, but there can also be pork, beef, ground seasoned beef, chicken, or sturgeon shashliks.
Barbecue in Scandinavia is very similar, if not identical, to barbecue in Germany, even having the same name. Typically, more traditional meats such as chicken, beef, lamb, pork and sausages, are cooked. Local fish like salmon, perch and mackerel are commonly grilled on open fire or smoked.
United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland
Barbecuing is a popular al fresco cooking and eating style, common in both the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. Many homes in both countries have a barbecue, usually located in the home's back garden. Most popular are steel-built kettle and range-style barbecues with wheels to facilitate moving the equipment, but permanent brick barbecues are also common.
In recent times, barbecue cook-off competitions have started to take place in the British Isles, similar to those held in the United States, Canada, continental Europe, and Australia. Some competitions allow teams, as well as individuals from various countries to compete against each other.
The most common foods cooked on British and Irish barbecues are: chicken, hamburgers, sausages, beef steaks, corn-on-the-cob, shish kebabs, and vegetarian soya or Quorn-based products, cooked by grilling, baking or a combination of both methods. Vegetarian products often require extra attention due to their lower fat content, weaker structure, and tendency to stick to grill plates and griddles. Less common food items include: fish, prawns, lobster, halloumi (cheese), squashes, potatoes, plantains, asparagus, beetroots, pork fillets, pork patties, and pork or beef ribs. Similar to the United States, barbecue sauce is sometimes spread on the meat before or during its cooking. All of the major supermarket chains now offer a range of barbecue products, although availability is usually limited to the barbecue season (late spring to early autumn).
Modern British cuisine, including barbecuing, is often cosmopolitan in nature, drawing on traditions and influences from the nation's multi-ethnic minority communities and around the globe. Generally the British barbecuing style tends to most closely resemble that of North America and Australia, however.
Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean
There are various types of Persian-style kabob, the main one being kubideh kabob, which is seasoned ground beef that is skewered and barbecued outside on a charcoal flame. There is also a marinated chicken kabob called jujeh kabob, and a filet mignon steak kabob called kabob barg. Both are skewered as well. All three main types of Persian kabob are usually served with Iranian style saffron rice and salad Shirazi, but can also be eaten with Middle Eastern lavash bread.
The Lebanese specialty shish taouk, the Middle Eastern kebab, made from beef and lamb, beef steaks, chicken, or non-pork sausages, are popular barbecue dishes in the region. Mangal, Arabic for a grill, is the act of grilling meat on coals outdoors and also known as "On the fire".
Like other mediterranean cuisines, barbecuing is popular in Turkey. Kebabs like şiş kebap, Adana kebap, köfte, fishes, chicken, some offals like heart, kidney, liver, testicle, sucuk, and some vegetables are usually cooked on a mangal.
Meats have been cooked over open flames by the Aboriginal peoples of Canada since the beginning of the human habitation of North America. US-style barbecue culture is a recent import to Canada, having been introduced following the Second World War. Its arrival coincided with the commercially driven popularization of a type of "domestic masculinity" for middle-class suburban fathers in the 1950s. This was a sharp break with the Canadian tradition, however, and as late as 1955, an article in Maclean's magazine called the practice "weird". Therefore, barbecue, in one sense, cannot be said to be a deeply held Canadian tradition. Yet by the late 1950s, the barbecue, once a fad, had become a permanent part of Canadian summers.
Canadian barbecue takes many influences from its American neighbour, as well as from British, Central European, and Euro-Mediterranean barbecue styles. The most common items cooked on a Canadian barbecue are: chicken, burgers, ribs, steaks, sausages, and shish kebabs. Barbecue sauce is either brushed on when the meats are cooking, or before the meats are served. As in the United States, barbecue cook-off competitions are quite common. Barbecue cookouts, either pit-smoking, baking, grilling (charbroiling, grid ironing, or griddling), or braising (by putting a broth-filled pot on top of a charbroil-grill or gridiron-grill), can also be combined with picnics, as is done in the United States.
Regional varieties are present between provinces, as well as regionally within provinces. Since mass consumer society allows once traditional local products to be sold in all regions, these are to be considered stereotypical examples only. British Columbian barbecues might feature salmon and chicken cooked indirectly on a cedar plank, a method indigenous to the Pacific coast. Those of the Prairie Provinces would likely feature beef steaks and sausage. Ontario barbecues are more likely to contain bbq ribs and burgers. Quebec-style barbecue draws closer and greater influences in style from European and Mediterranean grilling, baking, and braising traditions, and Louisiana barbecue, which likewise is also distinct from the barbecue styles of the rest of the American Deep South due to the influences of the unique regional cuisines of the state: Cajun cuisine, Louisiana Creole cuisine, which both descend from French and other Euro-Mediterranean cuisines and of course the African influences that be found in any state that had slaves or has many African Americans today. In addition to rubs and sauces, meats are marinated in various mixtures containing olive oil, and citrus juices; persillade is often added as a garnish, and meat skewers, called brochettes (French) or souvlakis (Greek), are also very common.
In Mexico the Horno is a traditional earthen barbecue tradition. Carne asada (literally meaning "roasted meat") consists of marinated cuts of beef rubbed with salt and pepper, and then grilled. Normally, it is accompanied with tortillas and grilled onions and bell peppers as well. This dish is now extremely popular in the entire country; although it is widely believed to have originated in the northern part of Mexico, it is now found almost everywhere in Mexico and the southwestern United States. Additionally, there are several other types of meats that are barbecued in Mexico, depending on the geographic region. In the northern part of the country, Cabrito is a popular barbecue dish, which consists of an entire kid goat, minus head, hooves and entrails (except the kidneys), slowly grilled/smoked on an open charcoal grill. The kidneys release a strong desired flavor as the carcass is slowly cooking over the fire. A somewhat similar dish, popular all over the country, is barbacoa, which is sheep meat slowly cooked over an open flame, or more traditionally in a fire pit. Also, as in many other places in Latin America, there is a strong tradition in Mexico of preparing pollo asado (roasted halved chicken) on mesquite charcoal-fired grills after the chicken meat has been marinated overnight in an often secretly guarded recipe adobo sauce.
In addition to carne asada, there are several types of beef, chicken and pork, as well as sausages (such as (chorizo, moronga, etc.) that are grilled during back yard or picnic-style events, commonly referred to as parrilladas. Some types of vegetables may be grilled alongside the meat, most commonly green onions, bell peppers and chile peppers, commonly referred to in Mexico as chiles toreados, or "bull-fought chiles". Ofte Quesadillas and tortillas accompany the consumption of grilled meat at these events, as well as soft drinks for children and alcoholic beverages for adults.
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There is a wide variety of barbecue styles in the United States, but four major styles commonly referenced, North Carolina and Memphis, which rely on pork and represent the oldest styles, and Kansas City and Texas, which use beef as well as pork.
Although regional differences in barbecue are influencing one another more, as are many other aspects of regional culture, some traditions remain. The U.S. has a range of contemporary suburban barbecue equipment and styles, which often consist of baking, grilling (charbroiling, grid ironing, or griddling), braising (by putting a broth-filled pot on top of a charbroil-grill or gridiron-grill), or smoking various meats (depending on the various cuts).
Many Americans in cooler regions have barbecues only during the warm seasons, or all year in the South and California, with barbecue cookouts part of a picnic or the family meal at home. The big holidays for barbecuing and picnicking are the Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of the summer vacation season, and the Fourth of July Independence Day celebration. Americans barbecue meats such as: chicken, beef, lamb, pork, and also fish and vegetables. In addition, during the fall and winter holidays, people in the southern regions of the country also tend to barbecue whole turkeys. Barbecue cook-off competitions are very common throughout the southern half of the country, and more recently have become more common in the northern part of the mainland and Hawaii.
Asado is a technique for cooking cuts of meat, usually beef, alongside various other meats, which are cooked on a grill (parrilla) or open fire. It is considered the traditional dish of Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, southern Brazil, and the Bolivian Chaco.
Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay
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Also generally called Parrilla or Parrillada in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, some alternatives are the asado al disco and asado al horno de barro, especially in the countryside. The recipe does not change, only the method of cooking the meat and offal. In the more conventional style asado a la parrilla, different cuts of meat, sausages and offal are placed on top of a metallic mesh with legs (parrilla) such that the meat stands some 15 cm above the ground, below the parrilla is placed charcoal, and the cooking takes some 60 to 90 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat cut.
In the asado al disco the worn out disc of a plough is used. Being metallic and concave, three or four metallic legs are welded and with hot coal or lumber below it is easily transformed into a very effective grill. Meat and offal are put in spiral, in such a way that the fat naturally slips to the centre, preserving the meat from being fried. Chili peppers and onions are usually put next to the edge, so that they gradually release their juices onto the meat.
The asado al horno de barro differs from traditional asado, as an horno (adobe oven) is used. These primitive ovens are a common view in Argentine estancias, and their primary function is to bake bread, but they are well suited for roasting meat. Pork suckling and, less commonly, lamb are served, as they are less likely to dry out. Though not technically a grill, it is a very traditional way of cooking that still requires the great skills of an asador and the gathering of family and friends, which are the essence of asado. Moreover, this cooking method yields a tender dish with a smoky flavour.
The barbecue-style meat known as Churrasco, is the cooking style which translates roughly from the Portuguese for barbecue. Many Brazilian restaurants called Churrascarias in Brazil and abroad serve churrasco.
In Australia, barbecues are a popular summer pastime. Often referred to and known as a "barbie" (plural "barbies"), and often also written as BBQ. The traditional meat used historically was lamb chops and beef steak for adults, and sausages (colloquially known as "snags") for both children and adults. Coin-operated or free public gas or electric barbecues are common in city parks. While Australian barbecue uses similar seasonings to its American counterpart, sugary sauces are used less often. Beer is often drizzled over meat during cooking, the theory being that it adds flavour while making the meat more tender. Meat is sometimes marinated for flavour and is then cooked on a hot plate or grill. Australian barbecues tend to be either all hot-plate or half and half hot-plate/grill. The barbecuing of fish and other seafood such as shellfish, like prawns and rock lobster (colloquially known locally as "crayfish" or just "crays"), has become increasingly popular in Australia over the last few decades. Breakfast is another popular meal prepared on the barbecue, which generally consists of the items served in a full breakfast (Bacon, Eggs, Sausages, Tomato, Mushrooms) simply being cooked on the hot plate and/or grill. US-style barbecuing, or smoking, as opposed to the traditional grilling techniques, is becoming increasingly more popular.
Barbecues are also common for fundraising for schools and local communities, where sausages and chopped onions are cooked on a hot-plate style barbecue and served on white bread or hotdog buns with tomato sauce or unheated barbecue sauce. These are most often referred to as sausage sizzles. This is also a popular method for feeding emergency services volunteers, and occasionally evacuees or stranded travellers; often with a range of commercially made salads.
The cooking customs of the indigenous peoples of Polynesia became the traditional Hawaiian barbecue of Kalua in an underground oven called an Imu, and the Luau, of the Native Hawaiians. It was brought to international attention by 20th century tourism to the Hawaiian islands.
Barbecues are a very popular activity in New Zealand. As well as being a common feature in New Zealanders' gardens, barbecues are also found at most campsites and many beaches throughout the country. Foods cooked include: beef, lamb, pork, fresh fish, crayfish, shellfish, and vegetables. Sausages are a popular and demanded element of barbecues and, as in Australia, sausage sizzles are one of the most common forms of fundraiser. New Zealand barbecue is similar to a mix of American, British, Australian, South African and Pacific Island styles.
New Zealand’s Maori have the hangi, a type of earth oven, used for cooking on special occasions. Multi-cultural society in New Zealand has also led to Pakistani/Indian, East Asian, South American, and Middle Eastern cuisines all influencing the flavours and types of food found at a barbecue.
South Pacific islands
Barbecuing is popular in the Australasian, Melanesian, Micronesian, and Polynesian islands, and every country and culture has its own version of earth oven barbecue cuisine. Some of the most legendary and continuously practiced examples can be found in South Pacific Oceania.
Tahitians call their earth oven barbecue a Hima’a. A thousand miles away in the Marquesas Islands, it is known as the Umu. With many tropical islands' styles of barbecue, the meat is marinated, glazed with a savoury sauce, and adorned with local tropical fruits. While pork predominates, horse is also popular in countries such as Tonga and Samoa.
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