It is the month of May and time to usher in the summertime.
And summer means one thing.
Who can resist the luscious smell of the barbecue and the fun friend and family time it represents?
Since May is National Barbecue Month, let’s find out how we can enjoy this fabulous style of cooking the plant-based way.
Let’s Start With Some Definitions
Barbecue is a cooking procedure where the food is cooked slowly with indirect and low heat. Therefore, the flavor comes from the smoking process.
It is important to distinguish between barbecuing and grilling. While related, grilling is a much quicker method, using moderate (or high) direct heat that produces little smoke.
The word ‘barbecue’ is also often used to describe the social gathering that is normally associated with cooking outdoors.
Informal and fun, a barbecue brings us close to both nature and fellow human beings.
The American Love Affair With the Barbecue
Many believe the word barbecue can be traced to the language of the Taino, a Caribbean Indian tribe. When Columbus landed in the Americas in 1492, he found Tainos roasting meat over a raised wooded grate called a ‘barbacoa’ which means ‘sacred fire pit.’
Americans began to barbecue in colonial times; the very first recorded mention of a barbecue dates back to 1610.
George Washington talked about attending a barbecue in Alexandria in 1769.
As the country expanded west, the barbecue followed; the cowboys were famous for barbecuing during their cattle drives.
In the nineteenth century, barbecues were a mainstay at private parties, weddings, church picnics, and political rallies. Since barbecuing was unassociated with any specific class, it conveniently allowed large groups of people from every level of the society to come together to eat, drink, and listen to speeches.
How to Celebrate National Barbecue Month
Barbecuing has evolved over the years.
Once linked exclusively with cooking meat, the all-American barbecue now enjoys a decidedly plant-based twist.
Besides being much healthier for you, barbecued vegetables are absolutely delicious.
- Organize a Potluck: Everyone can bring a special veggie to barbecue!
- Be Creative: When it comes to vegetables, creativity is important. Our Grilled Veggie Skewers, Grilled Portobello Mushrooms, and Grilled Pineapple all have delicious marinades to kick up the flavor!
- Exchange Recipes: A great way to keep the barbecue ideas flowing is to swap your favorite plant-based recipes.
And here is a recipe you are definitely going to want to share with your friends: Grilled Cauliflower Steaks.
The best kind of ‘barbecued steak’ on the planet, and certainly one of the healthiest.