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197 × 120 × 17 mm
144 pages
47 illustrations, 38 in colour
01 Apr 2014
  • £11.99

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Barbecue A Global History Jonathan Deutsch, Megan J. Elias

From the first barbecues of ancient Africa to Fijian pig and Chinese char siu, meat that’s been slowly roasted over a smoky fire is enjoyed around the globe – and with an infinite variety of spices, sauces and sides. A muscular, sinewy account of this quintessentially red-blooded pursuit, Barbecue explores the history of this most primitive and essential of cooking techniques.

Travelling to New Zealand for the Maoris’ hangi, Hawaii for kalua pig, Mexico for barbacoa de cabeza and South Africa for a braai, Jonathan Deutsch and Megan J. Elias tell the story of the evolution of barbecue cooking methods and technology. The book explores the barbecue’s place in society and culture, from Hawaiian feasts to political fundraisers and barbecue competitions. It also questions why the process of barbecuing is thought of as an exclusively masculine activity. With its mouthwatering recipes from around the world, Barbecue is the perfect gift for backyard grillers and professional barbecue competitors alike: a celebration of all things smoky, meaty and delicious.

‘Deutsch and Elias infuse their short, light-hearted history with anecdotes and recipes that will appeal to the more general reader. For example, Cantonese barbecued pork was allegedly invented by a careless young man who burned down a house with nine piglets inside. The destruction was, apparently, a small price to pay for the joy of eating charred pig flesh . . . While seeking to entertain, Barbecue urges us to undertake a deeper analysis, considering how a subculture of barbecue has transformed the process into a competitive sport played around the world, most notably in the US. Descriptions of the beer-drinking, posturing, psychical exertion and technical gadgetry that now accompany barbecuing point to excess, as do the photographs of hundreds of splayed animal remains.’ — TLS

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Jonathan Deutsch is the editor of They Eat That? (2012).

Megan J. Elias is the author of Food in the United States, 1890-1945 (2009).

Introduction: Smoke and Meat

1. Barbecue Beginnings
2. Man and Feast
3. Poles, Holes, Racks and Ovens: The Technology of Barbecue
4. A World of Barbecue
5. Competition and Connoisseurship
6. Sauces and Sides
Select Bibliography
Websites and Associations
Photo Acknowledgements