Let me introduce myself, my name is Patrick J Momany, more affectionately known as “Boucanier”, I own TaTu BBQ™, now in Anchorage, AK, and I prepare Award-Winning BBQ.
Let me just give you a quick rundown on how I feel about barbecue. Now, I have been known to create some awesome BBQ in my past, actually on many occasions, and it all started because I had a hankering for some good barbecue and couldn’t find any anywhere...more on that hidden in this website.
Now Barbecue came to us from the Caribbean state of Hispaniola, what is now Haiti. But the bottom line was the lack of electricity and refrigeration many years ago created a dilemma for people, the solution to this dilemma was a great idea, from the Caribbean to BBQ… And let’s not confuse a barbecue smoker with grilling, barbecue is smoking.
In the Caribbean, they smoked on what was called a boucan, hence my nickname…hehe. If you hunt around enough in Jamaica you can still find this traditional style of smoking… But I digress, but not too far. Just like in the Caribbean some of the best barbecue joints in America are just that joints, small, modest, nothing too fancy, and if you’re lucky there’s a place to sit down, if not you pull up a curb. And it will no doubt smell like you have been camping, as long as you are upwind, which is always a good thing. So as you’re driving around the country and you see these little joints, shacks as they may be called, with a few motorized vehicles in front, stop in you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Whatever you do don’t stop into a place that is all modernized with propane lines going inside or with an “automatic” gas bbq where a push of the button does it all. Stick with the joints, the shacks, the ones with the wood piles outback, or sacks of wood pellets for their grills. You’ll never be disappointed because it’s hard to make a living serving barbecue and most people I know that do it don’t do it for the money but they do it for the love…
Good barbecue, like a great grilled steak, is hard to find, so patronize the good ones…whenever you can.
The Precise Origin of Barbecue Sauces is Really Unclear.
Some, which I am a believer of, trace the origin to the end of the 15th century when Christopher Columbus brought back the sauce from Hispaniola. This confirms precisely what I found out during my studying the history of barbecue and how it came to America. Jacksonville, FL to be precise.
I believe that the word barbecue comes from "barbacoa" which is Spanish for a Taino word which means a rack made of wood on which meat is roasted over flames. According to normally reliable references, the Taino, indigenous people of the Caribbean (Hispaniola) and Florida, were extinct by about 1610. But it has now been established that they still survive today. The Taino say the word barbecue comes from the Taino language. "Ba" from Baba (Father), "Ra" from Yara (Place) "Bi" from Bibi (Beginning) "Cu" from Guacu (The Sacred Fire). Or, "The beginning place of the sacred fire father." they further explained that "Taino Barabicoa" means "The stick stand with 4 legs and many sticks of wood on top to place the cooking meat." And that, "Taino Barabicu" means "the sacred fire pit".
Chief Peter Guanikeyu Torres, the Taino Elder is believed to be the great-grandson of the late Taino Chieftain of the district of Jatibonico, an area in Puerto Rico known as Orocobix. According to Chief Guanikeyu, the Timucua, Guacara and Calusa tribes of Florida and the South-eastern United States are also Taino who migrated from the Caribbean with their culture. It is looking like the puzzle of the word barbecue may have been solved and originated somewhere in the Carolinas in the USA.
The sailors (pirates) who visited Hispaniola in the 15th century were most often fighting scurvy. Both vinegar and tomatoes fight scurvy…hence the sauces used on the meats they smoked were thin, remember sugar was too expensive for them to use. And, as they smoked on their adopted “Boucan” they became known as buccaneers.
Therefore you will find thin sauces of vinegar, tomato, and mustard in the Carolina’s…the birthplace of traditional BBQ!
Grilling, and eventually, BBQing, began when a human ancestor called Homo erectus began cooking meat with fire about 1.8 million years ago, according to Planet Barbecue (Workman Publishing, 2010). But barbecues the way that Americans know them now meat cooked over a grill or pit, covered in spices and basting sauce originated in the Caribbean.
The word barbecue comes from the language of a Caribbean Indian tribe called the Taino. Their word for grilling on a raised wooden grate is barbacoa. The word first appeared in print in a Spanish explorer's account of the West Indies in 1526, according to Planet Barbecue.
Since then, the popularity of barbecues has spread like wildfire. The history of barbecuing in America dates to colonial times, and it has been a part of American culture ever since. In fact, one of the first laws enacted in the colony of Virginia during the 1650s forbade the discharge of guns at a barbecue.