Barbecue: An American Food Tradition 烧烤:美国的一项传统

对有一些美国人来说,夏季就是到海滨或者美国国家公园度假的日子;还有一些美国人觉得这是看棒球比赛的时候了。

对大多数人来说,夏季是煮菜和大吃的时候,一般来说,就是享受美国式的烧烤。在美国,烧烤常常简写为 BBQ。美国的烧烤是把肉用低温长时间地烤,慢慢地把肉烤熟。

但是并非所有的美国烧烤都完全相同。

最近,迈克·萨金特驱车2500公里,从德克萨斯州(德州)赶到美国首都华盛顿,来参加美国首都烧烤大会战的比赛。

作为一个德州人来说,他认为他家乡的烧烤是最好的。但是他又加了一句,“但是美国的烧烤各地都不相同。你知道吗,看看别人的烧烤将是一件很兴奋的事,因为各地的文化不同,烧烤就是他们的文化。”

烧烤地带

德州是所谓美国“烧烤地带”的一部分。

这个烧烤地带从美国的东海岸一直延伸到德州。大部分人,把美国烧烤分为四种主要不同的风味:卡罗莱纳风味,孟菲斯风味,堪萨斯风味,和德州风味。这都是根据产地所在的州和城市来命名的。

但是美国的烧烤风味并没有那么清楚地有界限。

罗伯特·莫斯是一位烧烤专家,也是一位烧烤历史学家。他发表了一本书,名为“美国烧烤学的历史”。

莫斯说,美国的烧烤远远不止四种主要的风味。在烧烤地带的很多地方都有他们自己的风味和调料。

比如说,阿拉巴马州就有他们自己的白色的烧烤调料。而加利福尼亚州,虽然不在烧烤地带,也有他们自己的烧烤,称为:圣玛利亚。

“有一些人好像喜欢这四种主要的风味,但是实际上却是有很多很多。”

区域自豪感

大卫·罗宾斯是在弗吉尼亚州亚力山大市里,“老城烧烤者”餐厅里当烧烤大师 - 就是掌控烧烤设备的专家。

他说,在烧烤流行地区来到顾客,都对自己地域的烧烤有很大的自豪感。

“其实也并不是烧烤的风味有多大的不同,而是他们生来就是吃他们自己那一种的烧烤。”

甚至那位烧烤历史学家莫斯还是说,他对南卡罗莱纳的烧烤风味有特殊的爱好。因为他是在那个州的西部的格林维尔地区长大的。

“这些天以来,因为周游了各地的烧烤,我现在已经没有办法说哪一个风味是我唯一的爱好,而对所有的风味都很欣赏。当然,我还是对自己家乡的风味多一点感情。”

卡罗莱纳风味

卡罗莱纳风味,这个名称来自于北卡罗莱纳和南卡罗莱纳两个州。

莫斯说,到现在为止,卡罗莱纳风味的烧烤是最接近当初1700年代,还没有建立美国的那个时代的风味。

在整个卡罗莱纳州,都是用猪肉来做烧烤。他们把整个猪使用一个名为“匹特”的烧烤炉里烧烤。烤好以后的猪肉就切成丝或者片,或者就可以用手来撕着吃,因为肉已经烤的很嫩,肉就可以很轻松地从骨头上撕下来了。

烧烤的调料是美国烧烤的一项关键。北卡罗莱纳的烧烤调料是用醋做基础。南卡罗莱纳的烧烤调料是用芥末做基础。这两种调料都是黄颜色的。用芥末为基础的调料又被称为“卡罗莱纳之黄金”。

从卡罗莱纳,烧烤的传统就向西部传送,一直到德克萨斯州。

德州风味

卡罗莱纳风味的烧烤都是猪肉,而德州风味的烧烤基本都是牛肉。德州出名的是他们所产的牛胸肉,称为“波拉斯特”。这是牛胸靠近下面一点的那个部位的肉,一位名为迈克·萨金特的烧烤大师为我们解释。

“这部分肉就是牛胸口和肩部的肌肉。这是又厚又坚硬的肉,需要用慢火花很长的时间来烤。”

绝大部分德州烧烤在烤的时候并不用很多的调料。他们常常是使用一种称为“热播”,由草药和香料组成的东西为调料。

“在烤的时候,我们不放很多调料,因为我们要你尝到那肉的味道,和烧火之木料的香味,加上一点调料的味道。”

德州的烧烤常常是用德州胡桃木来烧烤的。德州胡桃树在德州是很广泛的。

孟菲斯风味

田纳西州的孟菲斯市是另外一个有名的孟菲斯风味烧烤的发源地。孟菲斯风味烧烤中最出名的就是他们的烤猪排骨,这种烤猪排可以是没有汁水的,也可以是有汁水的。

孟菲斯风味的烧烤有的时候是很甜的,因为他们使用一种很稠的糖浆再加糖做成一种称为“沐拉西斯”的很甜的调料。孟菲斯市位处密西西比河畔,那时蒸汽船在密西西比河上运行,而这些船上都装有各式各样的货物,于是,在孟菲斯就很容易得到沐拉西斯了。

孟菲斯风味的烧烤就渐渐导致出堪萨斯风味的烧烤,也就是在堪萨斯市出现的烧烤风味。这是由于有一个叫亨利·佩里的人,原来是在孟菲斯的蒸汽船上当厨师,约在1900那年代,他向北搬到了堪萨斯。

很快,亨利·佩里就在他的新居开始烧烤的事业,从此他就在堪萨斯建立起一个很成功的烧烤事业。

堪萨斯风味

堪萨斯市汇集了卡罗莱纳和孟菲斯的猪肉烧烤和德州的牛肉烧烤,形成了堪萨斯风味的烧烤。

很多食品专家都说,这是两者之中的最佳品。

虽然堪萨斯的猪排是最有名的,他们的牛胸肉也是不错的。他们著名的稠粘、用番茄为主体的调料是又甜又辣,很有特色。

烧烤在堪萨斯成为了一个很重要的市场。在那里每年举办“世界烧烤大赛”,这个参赛的大会被称为“美国皇家”。[1]

烧烤的亮点

但是烧烤的目的不是为了比赛,而是为了吃!

如果烤的恰到好处,烧烤的肉都会自动从骨头上掉下来。不必使用刀叉,这么好的烤肉,大家就可以直接用手拿着吃。

丽贝卡·桑萨尔是从宾夕法尼亚州来的。在美国首都华盛顿的烧烤大会战上,她说烧烤是她最喜欢的食品之一。

“吃烧烤的时候,哪怕是把烧烤调料搞得到处都是,甚至脸上也是烧烤调料,也没有问题。吃烧烤是非常快乐的享受。”

传统的美国烧烤盘子上还会加上土豆沙拉,凉拌卷心菜,烤豆子或者通心粉和奶酪。这些食物成为“边上菜”。

查克·史密斯是一位在俄亥俄州哥伦布市一家名为“烧烤棚”的烧烤餐厅里当厨师。

“我们这里有土豆沙拉、凉拌卷心菜、蔬菜、烤豆子、通心粉和奶酪。这个通心粉和奶酪是再好也没有的了。绝地是好!那么多的奶酪,太好了。”

如果美国人说,“Off the hook”就表示“倍儿棒”。

在夏季的岁月里,美国人常常邀请亲朋好友来吃烧烤。他们在室外用一个烧烤炉烤肉,也制作与查克·史密斯类似的“边上菜”。

像萨金特和罗宾斯这样的烧烤大师并不是到烹饪去学他们的烧烤本领,相反的,他们只是在他们自己的家里学到的。

萨金特说,在德克萨斯州里,每家每户的后院里都有一个烧烤炉。

“就是在那里,我爸爸从小教我怎样用烧烤炉来烧烤,激起我的激情,我也就中发现了我的激情所在。”


注:

  1. 2017年世界烧烤大赛是从八月三十一日到九月三日在堪萨斯市举行。可在http://www.americanroyal.com/event/world-series-barbecue/ 查到更多消息


讨论问题:

  1. 您对文章里的哪一些感兴趣?

  2. 与您所在地的烧烤相比,有什么相同和不同的地方?

  3. 在夏天,您所喜爱的食物有哪些?请详细介绍一下。

  4. 在您的所在地有哪些名菜?请详细介绍一下。







































www.salt-and-light.org/Audio/Barbecue.mp3

For some Americans, summertime means visiting the beaches or national parks. For others, it means attending baseball games.

And for many, it means cooking, eating, and generally enjoying American barbecue. Barbecue, or BBQ for short, is a style of cooking meat at a low temperature for a long time.

But, not all American barbecue is the same.

Mike Sargent recently drove almost 2,500 kilometers from Texas to Washington, D.C., to compete in the National Capital Barbecue Battle.

As a Texan, Sargent says his home state makes the best barbecue. But he adds, “The style of barbecue going across the nation is just totally different. And it’s interesting to see, you know, because it’s the culture on what people were raised on.”

Barbecue Belt

Texas is part of America’s so-called “Barbecue Belt.”

The area stretches from Texas to the East Coast. Many people divide it into four main styles of American barbecue: Carolina-style, Memphis-style, Kansas City-style and Texas-style. Each is named after the state or city where the style was formed.

But American barbecue is not actually that straightforward.

Robert F. Moss is a barbecue expert and historian. He wrote the book Barbecue: The History of an American Institution.

Moss says American barbecue is much more than just the four main styles. He says many areas within the Barbecue Belt have their own styles and flavors.

The state of Alabama, for example, has its own special white-colored barbecue sauce. And California, a state far from the Barbecue Belt, has its own barbecue style called Santa Maria.

“Some people sort of point to like four main regions but it’s really much more.”

“Regional pride”

David Robbins is with Old Town Smokers, a restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia. He is their pitmaster -- the person who operates the barbecue cooking “pit.”

He says that, for people who come from places where barbecue is popular, there is a lot of “regional pride.”

“Usually not because it’s the favorite flavor, it’s because it’s the thing they grew up with.”

Even Moss, the barbecue historian, says South Carolina’s style of barbecue is still special to him. He grew up in Greenville, in the western part of the state.

“These days it’s hard for me to say I have one particular favorite barbecue style, because having traveled around to eat so many, I’ve sort of come to appreciate them all. I still am a little bit partial to the South Carolina style, just because it is my home state.”

... Carolina-style

Carolina-style barbecue is named after the states of North Carolina and South Carolina. Carolina barbecue today is the closest to the early, colonial-style of barbecue of the 1700s, Moss says.

All across the Carolinas, pork is the main barbecue meat. They cook the whole hog over a pit. The pork meat is then shredded or chopped or “pulled.” Pulled pork is meat that is tender - or soft - enough to be pulled from the bone with little effort.

Sauce is a key part of American barbecue. Most sauces in North Carolina have a vinegar base. In South Carolina, the sauces are made with mustard. They are yellow in color. The mustard-based sauce is known as “Carolina Gold.”

From the Carolinas, barbecue traditions moved west, all the way to Texas.

Texas-style

While Carolina-style barbecue is all about pork, Texas-style barbecue is all about beef. Texas is especially known for its smoked brisket. Brisket is a cut of meat from the lower chest of a cow, as pitmaster Mike Sargent explains.

“It’s the chest and shoulder muscle. It’s a very thick, tough piece of meat. It has to be cooked for long periods of time at lower temperatures.”

Most Texas barbecue cooks do not use much barbecue sauce. Instead, they flavor their meat with a mix of herbs and spices called a “rub.”

“We don’t put a lot of sauce on anything down here. We’d rather you taste the meat and the seasonings and the woods that we use.”

Texas-style barbecue is often cooked over pecan wood. Pecan trees are found across much of Texas.

Memphis-style

The city of Memphis, Tennessee, is home to another well-known style of American barbecue. Memphis-style BBQ may be best known for its pork ribs. The ribs can be served dry, without sauce, or wet, with sauce.

Memphis-style sauce is sometimes very sweet, thanks to molasses – a thick, dark syrup made from raw sugar. Because the city sits along the Mississippi River, it was easy for locals to get molasses from steamboats that regularly carried goods up and down the river.

Memphis-style barbecue led to the creation of Kansas City-style barbecue, because of one man, Henry Perry. The Memphis local worked as a steamboat cook. In the early 1900s, he moved north to Kansas City.

Perry soon began cooking and serving barbecue for people in his new city. He went on to build a very successful Kansas City barbecue business.

Kansas City-style

Kansas City is where Carolina and Memphis pork barbecue meet Texas beef barbecue.

It is, as some food experts say, the best of both worlds.

While it is best known for its pork ribs, Kansas City also does beef brisket. It is known for its thick, tomato-based sauce that is both sweet and spicy.

Barbecue has become serious business in Kansas City. It holds the so-called “World Series” of barbecue every year. The huge contest is called the American Royal.[1]

The fun of barbecue

But barbecue is not about the competition. It is about eating.

If cooked right, barbecued meat falls off the bone. You do not need to use a fork or knife to eat it. Usually, you can eat with your hands.

Rebecca Sansale is from Pennsylvania. At the National Capital Barbecue Battle in Washington, D.C., she said barbecue is one of her favorite kinds of food.

“It’s one of the foods that you can eat that’s really messy and it’s okay to kind of get it all over your face and it’s just really fun to eat.”

A traditional American barbecue usually includes side dishes like potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans or macaroni and cheese.

Chuck Smith is a cook at Smoke Shack, a barbecue restaurant in Columbus, Ohio.

“I got potato salad, cole slaw, greens, beans, macaroni and cheese. The macaroni and cheese is off the hook. It’s off the hook. It’s so cheesy and it's good.”

“Off the hook” means really, really good.

In summer months, people in the United States often invite friends and family members over for a barbecue. They cook meat outside on a grill and prepare side dishes similar to Chuck Smith’s.

Pitmasters like Sargent and Robbins did not learn their trade at cooking schools. Instead, they learned through family barbecues in their own backyards.

Sargent says, in Texas, everybody has a grill in the backyard.

“That's where I learned my passion [from] it. My dad taught me from an early age how to cook on the grill...and that’s where I found my passion for it.”


Note:

  1. 2017 World Series of BBQ was held in Kansas from Aug. 31 to Sept. 3. For more information please visit http://www.americanroyal.com/event/world-series-barbecue/


Definitions:

barbecue - n. an outdoor meal or party at which food is cooked on a barbecue; food that has been cooked on a barbecue grill

straightforward - adj. easy to do or understand : not complicated

pit ​- n. ​ an outdoor area where food is cooked

regional - adj. relating to a part of the country that is different or separate from other parts in some way

appreciate ​- v. to understand the worth or importance of (something or someone) : to admire and value (something or someone)

sacred - adj. ​highly valued and important : deserving great respect

hog ​- n. ​a pig

tender - adj. ​easy to chew or bite : not tough

brisket ​- n. ​ beef from the chest of a cow

shred ​- v.​ to cut or tear (something) into long, thin pieces

chop ​ ​- v.​ to cut (something) into pieces by hitting it with the sharp edge of an ax, knife, etc.

flavor ​- v. ​to give or add taste to something

best of both worlds - expression.​ a situation in which you can enjoy two very different things at the same time

passion ​- n. ​a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something

Source: https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/tasty-travels-barbecue-american-food-tradition/3949118.html


Discussion Questions:

  1. What do you find interesting from this article?

  2. What are the similarities or differences related to BBQ compared to your region?

  3. What are some summertime favorite foods you like to eat? Please describe what it is and how it's made (if you know).

  4. What are some renown dishes that people in your region are proud of? Once again, please describe what it is and how it's made (if you know).