Home Today Is The First Mention Of BBQ Was In Salem, Mass., In 1733

The First Mention Of BBQ Was In Salem, Mass., In 1733

brisket day

National Brisket Day is observed annually on May 28.  As one of the nine primal cuts of beef, brisket comes from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal.

The beef brisket is one of the nine beef prime cuts. The brisket muscles include the superficial and deep pectorals. As cattle do not have collar bones, these muscles support about 60% of the body weight of standing/moving cattle. This requires a significant amount of connective tissue, so the resulting meat must be cooked correctly to tenderize the connective tissue.

Brisket is a tough and relatively inexpensive cut of meat. While it requires some patience to cook brisket to tenderness, the reward is well worth the effort. Select a well-marbled cut of meat.  The fat will keep the brisket moist and add flavor to the final product. Season it well and give it a dark sear.  This will seal in the juices.  Cook it slow, cook it long.

  1. Popular methods in the Southern United States include rubbing with a spice rub or marinating the meat, then cooking slowly over indirect heat from charcoal or wood.
  2. The fat cap often left attached to the brisket to help keep the meat from over-drying during the prolonged cooking necessary to break down the connective tissue in the meat. Water is necessary for the conversion of collagen to gelatin.
  3. A hardwood, such as oak, pecan, hickory, or mesquite, is sometimes added, alone or in combination with other hardwoods, to the main heat source. Sometimes, they make up all of the heat source, with chefs often prizing characteristics of certain woods. The smoke from these woods and from burnt dripping juices further enhances the flavor.
  4. Smoked brisket done this way is most popular in Texas barbecue.
  5. Once finished, pieces of brisket can be returned to the smoker to make burnt ends. Burnt ends are most popular in Kansas City-style barbecue, where they are traditionally served open-faced on white bread.
  6. In Mexican cuisine, brisket is known as suadero and it is commonly slowly cooked in a circular pan in taco stands all over the country.
  7. Cows are not native to America. Meat cows were brought over by the Spanish settlers.
  8. No historians truly know where the word barbecue even comes from. The leading theory brings us back to the East Texas style, closely associated with Caribbean-style barbecue, where the Taino people use the word barabicu to describe “a framework upon posts.”
  9. The first mention of American BBQ was surprisingly NOT Texan (sorry guys, know you wanted that one for y’all selves). Instead, it came from Salem, Massachusetts in 1733, when Benjamin Lynde wrote, “fair and hot; browne; barbacue. hack overset.” While it’s not much to go on, the description still matches today, so hey, we’ll take it.
  10. The next mention? George Washington attending a very barbicue in 1769. So again, not Texan. Oops. And also not spelled right.
  11. Texas has the most barbecue joints in the United States (and probably the world) with 2,238 restaurants and 1,983 independent locations. That number, alas, has probably skyrocketed since a census was taken.
  12. Lockhart is known as the Barbecue Capital of Texas. The town is home some of the most famous BBQ joints in the world: Kreuz Market, Black’s BBQ, Smitty’s are some well-known barbecue restaurants. There’s also a barbecue joint called Chisholm Trail in Lockhart that is a local secret. Shh!
  13. You know who loves BBQ? Presidents of the United States of America, because BBQ is the most American thing on this planet. Pres. Andrew Jackson, a most ornery gent, was nicknamed Old Hickory. Why? Because he was an asshole; tough like the hickory wood used at barbecues.
  14. Lyndon Baines Johnson, Texan extraordinaire, was famous for using barbecue at cookouts to host visiting world leaders, like the President of Mexico and the West German Chancellor. Did he know it would be a hit because both of these nation’s styles of BBQ are popular in Texas? Probably.
  15. Want another LBJ fact? Sure – he was the first President to bring BBQ sauce to the capital.
  16. The Bush family also likes to impress their donors with a good old-fashioned Texas BBQ at their sprawling summer estate in Kennebunkport, Maine, where they frequently serve up brisket and smoked turkey. Really, nothing makes people more agreeable than the smile as they slide into a BBQ coma.
  17. President Obama is the only human in history to have been allowed to cut the line at Franklin Barbecue in Austin. He bought lunch for the line, but um, hey man.
  18. Guy Fieri, host of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” and bleached hair fame, featured 18 Texas BBQ-only joints on his show over time, which is a number rivaled only by New York City pizzerias.

Sources:

Faith Based Events

National Day Calendar

Mobile-Cuisine

Wide Open Country