Barbecue Sauce - BBQ Flavors Around the World
Barbecue sauce is a popular condiment. However, many of us might not realize the sheer variety of BBQ flavors that are used in various regions of the United States and even the rest of the globe. Barbecuing meat is a cooking tradition that has been in use for centuries, so it's not surprising that just about every part of the world has its own flavors and methods.
The United States is particularly notable for having a wide range of regional BBQ flavors. The famous Louisiana Hot Sauce is often used as a table condiment after the meat is roasted. The city of Memphis is known for dry rubs, as well as its pulled pork with sweet spicy tomato flavors. Texas barbecue is often tomato-based as well, but usually less sweet. It ranges from mild to very bold and spicy. Many versions are made with cumin, onions, drippings from the meat, ketchup, and chili powder.
Kansas City barbecue sauce is perhaps the best-known American version, comprised of a very thick tomato base flavored with molasses. As it does not penetrate the meat well and tends to burn if cooked too long, it is usually slathered on the meat just at the end of cooking to create a caramelized coating. The St. Louis method adds the sauce after grilling by placing a generous amount in a pan with the cooked meat. It is then returned to the heat and simmered together for several minutes before serving.
South Carolina has a unique form of barbecue sauce: a mustard base flavored with vinegar and brown sugar. Some versions are thinner and make excellent marinades, while thicker versions are added to the meat at the end of cooking. Today, American chefs employ everything from whiskey, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, butter, ginger, ginger, paprika, citrus and even chocolate or espresso to create new BBQ sensations.
People in other countries love barbecue, too. In Mozambique in southern Africa, they eat piri-piri chili sauce with their food. Piri-piri is made from very spicy African bird's-eye chilies and is often used to marinate shrimp or chicken.
Argentinians love a good chimichurri to brush onto their steaks before grilling them. Chimichurri can be made from a variety of ingredients, but its base is always vinegar and oil, with various herbs added in, such as parsley, garlic, thyme, and cilantro. Tomatoes can be added to chimichurri but this is optional.
The Chinese are famous for their Hoisin sauce made from sweet potatoes. It is used to flavor a variety of meats, including the traditional Cantonese barbecue known as char siu.
Grilled meat in the Mediterranean is usually flavored with vinegar and citrus juice. Most Caribbean countries have their own versions of BBQ, often made with hot chili peppers like the Scotch bonnet pepper. Some of these are flavored with rum to provide a sweet taste.
Many people prefer to make their sauces from scratch, and there are countless recipes available. However, thanks to ethnic grocery stores as well as the Internet, there are an almost endless variety of bottled pre-made BBQ sauces available - an easy way to change up your typical grilling repertoire. By trying a new flavor, your taste buds can travel around the country -- and even the globe -- without even leaving your backyard.
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