By Bryan Henry and Dave DeWitt
Illustrations by Kelli Bergthold
--Cincinnati, Ohio was so famous for its hog industry in the 1830s that it was nicknamed "Porkopolis."
--On the first Sunday in July, 5,000 pounds of fresh salmon are grilled at the World's Largest Salmon Barbecue in Fort Bragg, California.
--Julius Caesar introduced to Rome the Gallic art of making pork sausages in 48 B.C.
--Contrary to popular notion, searing meat doesn't seal in juices. Meat cooked slowly at lower temperatures is more moist than seared meat.
--At least 60 percent of Americans barbecue year-round.
--Runaway Jamaican slaves called Maroons originated jerk seasoning in the 17th century.
--The word "buccaneer" comes from the French word boucanier, which means "to cure meat on a boucan" (barbecue). Since pirates in the West Indies often used this method of cooking wild boars, they became known as buccaneers, and strictly speaking, the term was limited to pirates operating in the Caribbean.
--Put snippets of fresh rosemary into the charcoal fire to give barbecued food added flavor.
--Bud Liffick of Houston is the owner of the world's largest mobile barbecue pit, which he has named "Cuz." So large that it has to be pulled by a semi, Cuz is 80 feet long, weighs 90,000 pounds, and has 24 doors but only one firebox. At one time it can cook between 700 to 900 briskets, plus a like volume of ribs and chicken. Bud takes Cuz to major barbecue cook-offs, where cooks have won major prizes by using it. And how much does a pit like Cuz cost? Bud told us that he has spent $360,000 building it.
|--Our Favorite Names of Barbecue Cook-Off Teams: Great Boars of Fire; Super Swine Swizzlers; Hazardous Waist; Pork, Sweat & Tears; Seven Basted Bubbas; and The Smoke-A-Holics.|
--Our favorite definition of barbecue: "Primitive summertime rite at which spirits are present, hunks of meat are sacrificed by being burnt on braziers by sauce-smeared men wearing old hats and aprons with cabalistic slogans, and human flesh is offered to insects." --Henry Beard
--Our Favorite BBQ Cook-Off Contest Names: Texas Dead Cow Cookin' & Bean Fixin' Extravaganza, Wichita Falls, Texas; Big Pig Jig, Vienna, Georgia; Swine Days, Natchez, Mississippi; Hogtoberfest, Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina; Hog Wild, Jackson, Mississippi.
--Our Favorite Names of Barbecue Cook-Off Teams, Part 2: The Grate Pretenders; Dr. Frank 'n' Swine; Asleep at the Grill; Cayenne Social Club; Swine Flew; Slaughterhouse Five; and Aporkalypse Now.
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