To barbecue generally means to cook something (meat, fish, poultry, or vegetables) directly over the heat of an open fire.  In Texas its beef, in North Carolina its pork and in backyards across America almost anything edible can be found cooking on someones barbecue grill.

George Washington noted in his diary of 1769 that he “went up to Alexandria to a barbicue.”
A 1773 entry notes that he attended a “Barbicue of my own giving at Accatinck.”

In 2009, 76 million Americans said they took part in a barbecue the previous year. (US Census Bureau, 2010)

Also known as: barbicue, barbique, barbeque, Bar-B-Cue, Bar-B-Que, Bar-B-Q, BBQ, Cue and just plain Q.

Either from the Spanish spelling of the Taino Indian word for their method of cooking fish over a pit of coals (barbacoa), or from the French barbe à queue (from whiskers to tail) or de la barbe à la queue (from the beard to the tail) or even the French barbaque (which is from the Romanian barbec) meaning roast mutton. Take your pick, every one has their favorite, and none are certain.

Paleolithic Residents of Central Europe Knew How to Throw a Barbecue: In 2009, archaeological excavations at a 31,000 year old site in the Czech Republic discovered a cooking pit with the remains of 2 Mammoths along with other animal remains.
Archaeology magazine (Sept/Oct 2009)

     Lexington, North Carolina, is known as the Barbecue Capital of the World, and October was officially declared 'Barbecue Month' with a month long Annual Barbecue Festival.  The Festival has a Parade of Pigs on bicycles (also called the Tour de Pig)!  The Lexington Barbecue Festival was designated as the Official Food Festival of the Piedmont Triad Region in 2007.

     If you didn't already guess, Lexington is famous for its barbecue. The city's first barbecue restaurant opened in 1919. Lexington barbecue is pork shoulder basted with 'dip,' a mixture of water, vinegar, salt, and pepper. It is cooked slowly over hickory wood until it is 'fall apart tender.' One pound of pork takes about an hour to cook. Today there are over 20 barbecue restaurants in Lexington.

     In the 1994 Barbecue Festival, 11,000 pounds of barbecue were served to more than 100,000 people.
Library of Congress Local Legacies Project



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