Hungry for more barbecue but looking for something a little different? Well, then you’ve come to the right place! Since we already covered A Cross-Country Tour of the Types of American BBQ in another post, today we’ll continue our “travels” and check out some of the unique international BBQs from Around the world. So let’s get started!
Mexican Barbacoa: A History of Flavor
The first stop on our international BBQ tour is Mexico. Barbacoa isn’t just a delicious meat option at Chipotle. It actually refers to a specific type of underground oven that is used to cook meat. Today, Mexican barbecue encompasses a wide variety of dishes, all of which are characterized by their slow cooking methods and bold flavors.
One of the most famous Mexican barbecue dishes also goes by barbacoa. It is made with lamb or goat that has been slow-cooked in an underground pit. The meat is typically wrapped in maguey leaves, which impart a smoky flavor. Another popular barbecue dish is cochinita pibil, which is made with pork that has been marinated in achiote paste, sour orange juice, and spices. Cochinita pibil is typically cooked in a pit, but it can also be cooked in an oven.
The History of Mexican Barbecue
The history of barbacoa takes us back to its origins to the island of Barbados in the Caribbean. The people of the West Indies were known as Taino. They used fig-branches that were fire-resistant in a pit to cook their food. They marinaded the food in spices and herbs after it was cooked which would help preserve it.
Types of Mexican Barbecue
Check out some great barbacoa recipes:
- Carne Asada Recipe [Source: MexicoInMyKitchen]: Grilled beef that is often marinated in a mixture of lime juice, garlic, and spices.
- Carnitas Recipe [Source CafeDelites]: Shredded pork that has been slow-cooked in lard – but this recipe is without lard.
- Pollo al pastor Recipe [Source AllRecipes]: Grilled chicken that is marinated in achiote paste, pineapple juice, and spices.
- Tostadas de tinga Recipe [Source MyLatinaTable]: Toasted tortillas topped with shredded chicken or pork that has been cooked in a tomato-based sauce.
The Future of Mexican Barbecue
Mexican barbecue is a vibrant and evolving tradition. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in American-style barbecue in Mexico. This has led to the creation of fusion dishes that combine the flavors of Mexican and American barbecue.
For example, in the city of Monterrey, there are several restaurants that serve Texas-style brisket that has been cooked over mesquite wood. These restaurants have found a way to combine the flavors of two great barbecue traditions, creating dishes that are both delicious and unique.
As Mexican barbecue continues to evolve, it is likely that we will see even more fusion dishes that combine the flavors of Mexico and other countries. This is an exciting time for Mexican barbecue, and it will be interesting to see how the tradition develops in the years to come.
Jamaican Jerk: A Taste of the Island
Next up on our International BBQ is the island of Jamaica. Jamaican barbecue is a vibrant and delicious tradition that is deeply rooted in the island’s culture. The word “jerk” is of Taino origin, and it originally referred to a type of spiced meat that was cooked over an open fire. Today, Jamaican jerk refers to a wide variety of dishes that are characterized by their bold flavors and smoky aromas.
One of the most famous Jamaican barbecue dishes is jerk chicken, which is made with chicken that has been marinated in a mixture of spices, including allspice, scotch bonnet peppers, and thyme. The chicken is then grilled over an open fire, until it is cooked through and has a crispy skin. Jerk chicken is often served with rice and peas, festival (a type of fried dough), and ackee and saltfish.
The History of Jamaican Barbecue
In 1655 during the Anglo-Spanish War, Jamaica was invaded by England that captured Spanish Jamaica. When they were invaded, the Spanish colonists freed their slaves. Those who were fleeing started to form their own settlements and communities on the outskirts. These settlers became known as Maroons. It’s believed that these settlers became friends with the native members of the Taino tribe, and learned their technique of cooking with jerk spice in underground pits.
Types of Jamaican Barbecue
Check out some great jerk recipes:
- Jerk chicken Recipe [Source AFoodLoversKitchen]: Jerk chicken in a spicy and flavorful marinade rub.
- Jerk fish Recipe [Source: Recipetineats]: Pan-fried white fish coated with Jamaican jerk seasoning for a flavorful and crispy dinner!
- Jerk Tofu Recipe [Source: JessicaIntheKitchen]: Authentic Jamaican jerk tofu that is saucy, spicy, sweet, savory, chewy and crispy!
- Jerk Vegetable Recipe [Source: MinamilistBaker): Jamaican Jerk Grilled Eggplant in 30 Minutes!
Jamaican barbecue is not only delicious, but it is also a great way to experience the rich culture of the island.
The Future of Jamaican Barbecue
Jamaican barbecue is a vibrant and evolving tradition. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in Jamaican barbecue around the world that has led to the opening of Jamaican barbecue restaurants in cities around the world.
Brazilian Churrascaria: Bring on the meats!
Continuing on our international BBQ tour, we find ourselves in Brazil. Brazilian barbecue is known as churrascaria. Churrasco is the national dish of Brazil, and it is a beloved tradition that has been passed down for generations. The word “churrasco” comes from the Portuguese word “churrar,” which means “to roast over an open fire.”
The History of Brazilian Barbecue
The history of Brazilian barbecue can be traced back to the 1700s, when the Portuguese brought their grilling traditions to Brazil. The gauchos, or cowboys of Brazil, adopted these traditions and began to use them to cook their meat. The gauchos would often roast large cuts of beef over an open fire, and this became the basis for churrasco.
Today, Brazilian barbecue is typically served in a churrascaria, which is a type of Brazilian steakhouse. In a churrascaria, the meat is cooked on a skewer over an open flame. The servers will come to your table with the skewers of meat, and you can indicate which ones you would like to eat. Think, Fogo de Chao. The meat is typically served with a variety of side dishes, such as rice, beans, and farofa (a toasted manioc flour).
Types of Brazilian Barbecue
Check out some great churrasco recipes:
- Picanha Recipe [Source MoreMomma!]: This is a cut of beef is known for its tender, juicy texture and slightly smoky flavor.
- Flank Steak Recipe [Source Today]: This flank Steak Brazilian Style is quick-cooking with a little chimichurri sauce.
- Costela Recipe [Source FlavorsofBrazil]: Steam roasted, perfectly seasoned back ribs
- Linguiça Recipe [Source BrazilianKitchenAbroad!]: A warm rice salad with linguica, pinto beans, and grilled vegetables
The Future of Brazilian Barbecue
One of the most notable trend of Brazilian barbecue is their quest to become more sustainable. These practices involve cooking with less meat. There is a rise in plant based meats and vegetable based Brazilian BBQ recipes.
South African The Braai:
Our next international BBQ tour stop brings us to South Africa. Barbecue is a national pastime in South Africa, and it is known as “braai” (pronounced “brye”). Like many barbecue traditions, braai is a great and joyous occasion. So much so that it many have now given September 24, which is South Africa’s “Heritage Day” the nickname of “Braii Day”. It’s a day to celebrate and honor the culture and diversity of South Africa. Just like any international bbq, it brings people together.
The History of South African Barbecue
The word “braai” comes from the Dutch word “braden,” which means “to roast.” Braais are typically cooked over an open fire, and they can be made with a variety of meats, fish, and vegetables. Braai means grill in Afrikaans, and according to some, it is the only word that is recognized in all of Africa’s 11 official languages.
Braais are typically cooked over an open fire, but they can also be cooked on a gas grill. If you are using an open fire, you will need to build a fire with wood or charcoal. The cooking time for braai meat will vary depending on the cut of meat. You will need to keep an eye on the meat to make sure that it does not overcook.
Types of South African Barbecue
Check out some great braii recipes:
- Sosaties [Source CarolinesCooking]: South African lamb and apricot kebabs.
- Braai-Spiced T-Bone Steaks [Source NYTimesCooking]: Fragrant dry rubbed T-bone steaks.
- Braaibroodjies [Source OZBraii]: South African grilled cheese
- Boerewors [Source Food.com]: South African grilled sausage
The Future of South African Barbecue
Like we mentioned above, braii has contributed to uniting the nation of South Africa. We suspect we’ll see South African braii rising in international popularity in the next few years, and we hope that it continues to unite us all.
India Tandoor: A Diverse and Delicious Tradition
Up next we find ourselves in India, where barbecue is cooked in a tandoor. A tandoor is a clay oven that is heated with wood or charcoal that results in flavorful and tender meals with a slightly smoky flavor. There are many different regional variations of Indian barbecue, each with its own unique flavor profile. In the northern Indian state of Punjab, for example, tandoori chicken is often made with a more complex marinade that includes yogurt, spices, and herbs. In the southern Indian state of Kerala, barbecue dishes are often cooked in a clay oven called a “chulha.”
The History of Indian Barbecue
The origins of the tandoor may be linked to Rajasthan, India. Archeologists found tandoor remains here dating back to 2600 B.C. which was the same time as the pyramids. These early tandoors were used to make a flatbread, that is still seen in meals today like Indian roti and naan. Kabobs became an integral association of the tandoor because of their ease to roast meat and vegetables over the very hot heat.
One of the most famous Indian barbecue dishes is tandoori chicken, which is made with chicken that has been marinated in a mixture of yogurt, spices, and herbs. The chicken is then cooked in a tandoor, which is a type of clay oven that is heated with wood or charcoal. The result is a flavorful and tender chicken that has a slightly smoky flavor.
Types of Indian Barbecue
Check out some great tandoor recipes:
- Tandoori Chicken [Source SwasthisRecipes]: Tender and juicy tandoori chicken
- Machli Kebabs [Source Saveur]: Grilled swordfish kabobs
- Tandoori Aloo Tikka [Source PipingPotCurry]: Marinated baby potato kabobs
- Tandoori Marinade [Source Food.com]: A classic marinade that will spice up any Indian BBQ
The Future of Indian Barbecue
Like so many other international BBQ stops we’ve made on this journey so far, India is seeing a rise in plant based meats. Many believe that Indian barbecue and other Indian cuisine will continue to skyrocket in popularity due to its relatively healthier recipes.
Korean Gogi-gui: A Delicious and Social Tradition
Our next international bbq stop is Korea. Korean barbecue, also known as gogi-gui (고기구이), is a popular way to cook and eat meat in Korea. It involves grilling thinly sliced meat, such as beef, pork, or chicken, over a hot grill. The meat is typically marinated in a flavorful sauce before grilling, and it is often served with a variety of side dishes. Korean barbecue is a social event, and it is often enjoyed with friends and family. The meat is grilled at the table, and diners cook their own food to their liking. This makes it a fun and interactive way to eat. One key differentiator between Korean bbq and other international bbq is that a lot of their meat dishes are not marinaded.
History of Korean Barbecue
The history of Korean barbecue can be traced back to the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). During this time, barbecue was a popular way to cook meat for special occasions. It was first known as “maekjeok”, which translates to “meat over a fire”. Later, it was referred to as bulgogi, and then as we know it today as gogi-gui.
Types of Korean Barbecue
Check out some great gogi-gui recipes:
- Bulgogi [Source [MyKoreanKitchen]: Thinly sliced beef marinated in a sweet and savory sauce.
- Samgyeopsal: Grilled pork belly
- Dolsot bibimbap [Source Kimchimari]: Korean stone pot rice bowl
- Japchae [Source KoreanBapsang]: Stir-Fried Starch Noodles with Beef and Vegetables
The Future of Korean Barbecue
Korean barbecue has become increasingly popular in recent years, with restaurants opening all over the world and doesn’t seem to be slowing down, and we sure don’t want it to!
Australian Barbie: It’s more than just shrimp!
On our last international BBQ stop, we’ll head to Australia. Barbecue, or “barbie” as it is affectionately known in Australia, is a national pastime. Throw another shrimp on the barbie! Ok sorry, couldn’t resist. The reason we all know this phrase isn’t just because of Outback Steakhouse, but because barbecue in Australia is a way of life, a way to bring people together, and a way to enjoy the great outdoors.
History of Australian Barbecue
We can trace the history of Australian barbecue back to the early European settlers, who brought their grilling traditions with them. The first barbecues in Australia were simple affairs, with meat cooked over an open fire. However, over time, barbecues became more elaborate, and today they are a popular way to cook a variety of foods.
There are many different types of barbecues in Australia, but the most common type is the gas barbecue. Gas barbecues are easy to use and relatively inexpensive, making them a popular choice for home cooks. Charcoal barbecues are also popular, and they give food a smoky flavor that many people enjoy.
Some Australian barbecue incorporates one of the country’s most unique and beloved foods: Vegemite. We previously covered Australia on our Australian themed date night, and in case you don’t remember, Vegemite is definitely not for us. But if you haven’t ever tried it, you should give it a go, because it really is a world all its own.
Types of Brazilian Barbecue
Check out some great barbie recipes:
- Australian Shrimp on the Barbie [Source TheSpruceEats]: A classic Australian grilling dish.
- Vegemite Prawn Rolls [Source Vegemite.com]: A twist on Australian shrimp with their infamous Vegemite.
- Aussie Style Grilled Vegetables [Source Food.com]: Marinaded veggies over the grill.
- Australian Barbie Sauce [Source Food.com]: The secret to any great Aussie bbq
The Future of Australian Barbecue
Traditionally, Australian BBQ consists of meat as the main dish. However like many places all over the world, Australia has been seeing a rise in plant based meat dishes over the last several years. Going forward you can expect to see a lot more Aussie plant based menus on the barbie.
We hope that you enjoyed our tour around the world sampling barbecue from other countries. These are just a few amazing options and there’s always so much more to discover. Let us know if you gave any of these a try or have suggestions for other recipes we should check out!