By: Sarah Huda
It’s Summertime, which means it’s time for the three B’s – burgers, bratwurst, and beer. As we grab some sunshine and dust off our grills, why not explore some other types of BBQ from around the world to step up our game?
In the United States, the definition of barbecue, or barbeque, varies from region, but one thing remains constant – meat. Whether it be burgers, hot dogs, or ribs, juicy charred meat is staple on any grill. A simple suggestion to switch up your barbecue grills is to go from natural gas grills to charcoal, or visa versa. Also, just ketchup and mustard, while classic, can bore your guests. Utilizing styles from other cultures or regions can brighten your plate and palate. Let’s look at BBQ staples from around the world.
BBQ Grill Not Required
In Argentina, chefs cook over an open fire pit and have chimichurri on the side to garnish their steaks. Chimichurri is simple; olive oil, parsley, cilantro, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes. This can be done just like the Argentinians and thrown on a steak or try something new; skip the mayo and try on a hamburger or hotdog! A simple twist but oh so delicious. Chile has a similar taste, but it’s called aji – peppers, diced onions, olive oil, garlic, cilantro, and tomatoes. South Americans take advantage of the rich taste of olive oil to spice up a meal.
Hawaii has a similar take on barbecue, using an open fire pit to roast meat – usually a whole pig is roasted. The state’s abundance of trees and greenery allow them to grab leaves to cook with, wrapping the meat in leaves- adding a soft, tender side without the char over a straight fire. It’s just like cooking corn on an open grill with the husk on; a good smoky taste and cooked to perfection. In tune with the tropical dream in Hawaii, the abundance of pineapples is essential at any open flame. Pineapples are versatile and can be used in more ways than one; you can make a pineapple salsa to top your hot dogs, a slaw that is a great balance to a salty potato chip, or you can even throw the pineapple right on the grill and top it on your burger!
Let us not forget that sides are just as important to your Summertime feast! In the United States, we typically eat macaroni salad, potato chips, and have fresh fruit as sides. In the Philippines, rice is a necessity of every meal and a side of noodles is common on the table; typically topped with gravy – based with liver. Korean barbecue focuses on a complete table of sides, more variety than most offer. Koreans focus on vegetables prepared in different ways to top meats. This includes marinated cucumbers in a vinegar base, cabbage – also known as kimchi, and onions and jalapenos.
There isn’t one way to barbecue and the exploration of different tastes from different cultures can allow a fun afternoon in front of the grill. As you ready to spend the rest of the Summer heat outdoors, don’t forget to change up your wheelhouse and discover something new!