To many of us in the United States barbecue as a cuisine has always been tied to ribs, pork butts, and beef brisket. However, the true spirit of barbecue is the oldest cooking tradition practiced around the world in many different forms. Every continent has a culture of cooking low and slow with all varieties of protein including lamb, chicken, fish, and shellfish. The variation in barbecue traditions all over the world are a large inspiration for us here at Pit Fiend. We decided that regional American barbecue, although amazing, needed only to be a portion of our menu as we want to bring the flavors from around the world to our clientele.
In recent years barbecue from both Korea and Japan have become extremely popular in the United States. Japan’s yakitori, literally meaning “grilled bird,” is a fantastic dish of any part of the chicken served on a skewer. It is served salted, spiced or sauced with sides like rice, pickles or cabbage. Korean barbecue is an experience where one is served with various pieces of raw unseasoned meat and gets to cook them oneself at the table. One of the greatest facets of this experience, beyond the varied cuts of meat, is the plethora of sides served while you grill. After ordering, you may be bombarded with small plates of kimchi vegetables, raw vegetables, bean paste, cold noodles, and a variety of salads.
African barbecue has not penetrated into American culture as much, but it is an interesting variation of our beloved cooking tradition. In Mozambique, peri-peri chili sauce gained widespread popularity, and is now used all around the world. Traditionally used on chicken, king prawns cooked in their shells, or steamed crab, it is typically accompanied by rice, fries, or a corn flour porridge called “xima” - anything to soak up and consume the delicious sauce.
South American barbecue can be found in the United States almost as frequently as Japanese and Korean. Brazilian steakhouses and their “rodizio” are a dream for anyone with a large appetite. Much like Korean barbecue, the Brazilian tradition rarely involves just one cut of meat. A constant stream of cuts of beef, chicken, and sausage are brought to the table and portioned for you at your leisure. Picanha is the preferred cut for Brazilians. It is a cut of beef from the rump with a thin fat cap that drips into the meat as it’s cooked, resulting in a succulent steak. In Argentina, one cut of meat is never enough, and its “asado” is usually packed with skirt steak, strip steak, ribs, tenderloin, ribeye, chorizo, and blood sausage. Argentina also has one of the most known steak sauces in the world in chimichurri. These are only a few of the amazing dishes that one can inevitably find if they are committed to tasting barbecue around the world.
At Pit Fiend BBQ, we have already incorporated some of these global traditions into our menu. Our pulled pork is seasoned with mojo, a Caribbean marinade popular in Cuba. Our jackfruit recipe is our take on cochinita pibil, a Mexican barbecue tradition older than the country itself. However, our most versatile foray into worldwide barbecue comes from our sausage program. We have made sausages from Germany, South Africa, Uruguay, Thailand, and we have many more in the works. As we continue to explore these worldwide delicacies, we hope that you will join us in discovering the wonders of barbecue around the world.