Hola amigos: Barbecue or BBQ derives from the word ”barabicu” or ”barabicoa” found in the language of the Taino people of the Caribbean, the Amerindians living in Puerto Rico and the other Great Islands (Cuba, Dominican Republic and Haiti) who were masters of the direct fire slow method of cooking meats.
The word entered European languages in the Spanish form “barbacoa”. It translates as “sacred fire pit” and the grill or “stick stand with 4 legs for cooking meat with sticks of wood on top”.
BBQ or “Barbacoa” Image
by Evelyn Santiago
Both the word and cooking technique migrated out of the Caribbean and into other languages and cultures, with the word “barbacoa” moving from Caribbean dialects into Spanish, Portuguese, French, and finally, English (and the word barbecue or barbeque or just BBQ enter the gastronomic culture of the American cuisine).
The Taino people say the word barbecue comes from the Taino language. “Ba” from Baba (Father), “Ra” from Yara (Place) “Bi” from Bibi (Beginning) “Cu” from Guacu (The Sacred Fire) . They explained that, “Taino Barabicoa” means “The stick stand with 4 legs and many sticks of wood on top to place the cooking meat.” And that, “Taino Barabicu” means “the sacred fire pit”.
Chief Peter Guanikeyu Torres, the Taino Elder is believed to be the great grandson of the late Taino Chieftain of the district of Jatibonico, an area in Puerto Rico known as Orocobix. He is President of a national Native American non-profit organization called the Taino Inter-TribalCouncil.
Taino Barbacoa Image
The Taino can be reached on the Internet at: www.hartford-hwp.com/taino
According to Chief Guanikeyu, the Timucua, Guacara and Calusa tribes of Florida and the South-eastern United States are also Taino who migrated from the Caribbean with their culture and thier “barbacoa” cooking.
It entered the Spanish dictionary in 1526, and in 1755 Samuel Johnson, the British lexicographer, essayist, and editor included the word “barbecue” in his landmark Dictionary of the English Language. http://amazingribs.com/BBQ_articles/barbecue_history.html
The BBQ was not invented in the USA but it was perfected in the South. There are four types of barbeque in the USA and they are broken down by the type of sauce use in basting, and as a finish sauce when the barbeque is being served. Those four types are: Vinegar and Pepper, Mustard, Light Tomato and Heavy Tomato. There are many varieties of preparation using dry or wet rub but all of the many sauces used in America generally will fall into one of those four basic groups.
North and South Carolina share three of the four types of barbeque sauce that Americans normally use, but only South Carolina is the home of all four, it all started there around the middle of the 1700′s. By the 19th century, the culinary technique was well established in the American South.