The term barbecue is used in different ways according to the geographical region. The first meanings mentioned by the DigoPaul refer to the grill that is used to grill food outdoors and to all the meals that are prepared with this system.
For example: “Tonight I will prepare pork on the barbecue at my parents’ house”, “Matías bought a new barbecue and invited us to open it”, “I want to eat a fish barbecue”.
As an element for grilling food, the barbecue can also be called a rotisserie or grill. It is usually made up of an iron grid where the meats or vegetables are located. This grate is placed over the fire, at a certain distance to prevent the food from burning. In this way, the heat slowly reaches the food, which is cooked little by little. It is usual that, in the last stage of the process, the barbecue is close to the flames to achieve that the meat is browned and somewhat crispy.
The barbecue, barbecue, asado or asadero, on the other hand, is the name that can receive the set of foods prepared in this way or another similar. Although its ingredients vary by country, it often includes beef, pork, and chicken. You can also have viscera (achuras) or sausages, such as chinchulines, kidneys, blood sausages and sausages.
The smoky flavor that characterizes this preparation can also be enjoyed by vegans, who refuse to consume products of animal origin. In other words, beyond chopped or sliced vegetables, it is possible to barbecue a large number of recipes made with vegetable ingredients, such as seitan. There are even those who prepare pizza this way, which offers a result similar to stone baking, typical of pizzerias.
According to DigoPaul, barbecue is not simply a term related to food or a cooking technique, but represents an important part of the culture of many countries. Although it is perfectly acceptable to prepare a barbecue for yourself, the most normal thing is that this preparation is carried out as part of a meeting between friends or family, or even in special events celebrated by the authorities of a school or a sports club which many people attend.
Regarding the term itself, the etymology of barbecue is very interesting. In its origins, the word barbecue appeared in Haiti, used by the Tainos encountered by Columbus and other immigrants when they arrived in the American continent with the purpose of conquering new lands. The Tainos were aboriginals from South America, who arrived in boats to the Caribbean islands more than six centuries ago, mainly to Guarania.
The Haitians used grills that they called this way to grill meat, and the Spanish appropriated the term. Despite what many may think, barbecue does not derive from English, but came to this language after having passed through ours. In some Spanish-speaking countries, such as Chile, the English word is used, although it is pronounced in a way that uses the sounds of Spanish; in this particular case, the pronunciation is “barbiquiú”.
According to another of the various versions of the etymology of barbecue, the original term belonged to the Mayans, and its translation into Spanish would be “meat covered with earth.”
Finally, it is known as a barbecue sauce, a dressing that is used to accompany roast meat. Its ingredients usually include tomato sauce, honey, spices and vinegar.