Well, now, I beg to differ.
The pit cooking method was taught to the very earliest English colonists, there are descriptions of pit cooking methods taught by the Croatan and the Powhatan. The sauce is a survival of Elizabethan “catsup” which was a vinegary sauce with herbs and spices. It’s the first authentically American food, being a fusion of English and native. It really should be our Thanksgiving dinner, imho. Far more authentic than that sanitized and romanticized tale of our putative Pilgrim Fathers, those Johnny-Come-Lately communards, lol.
I’ve been a history buff with a nack for odd or forgotten history for years, and one of those odd bits is the origin of southeastern pit-cooked barbecue. I’ve never in my life heard this NC-by-way-of-Haiti cannibal cuisine tale before in my life, and I’ve actually researched it for years.
If you’re pulling our legs, you’re doing a pretty good job of it. If you’re not, please source, starting with the etymology of “barbeque” from Haitian Creole. Bar-beek, like Martinique? I’m just baffled.
The Carribean connection to NC was Barbados and Cuba, not Hispaniola. Pit cooking was widespread before Haitians ever conjured their voodoo demon and slaughtered their overlords in their sleep back in the late 1700’s.
For once, I don’t believe you, lol. That’s a rarity on FR, your threads and replies are usually very enjoyable and enformative.
Knack. I’ll learn to push that little spellcheck button before posting one of these years.
That's fine. I'm not insulted. I read so much that I can't remember where I read that. If I had to guess, it would have been something that Marvin Harris(bless his soul) wrote. Below is something I found on Wikipedia.
The origins of both the activity of barbecue cooking and the word itself are somewhat obscure. Most etymologists believe that barbecue derives ultimately from the word barabicu found in the language of both the Timucua of Florida and the Taíno people of the Caribbean. The word translates as "sacred fire pit." The word describes a grill for cooking meat, consisting of a wooden platform resting on sticks.
Traditional barbacoa involves digging a hole in the ground and placing some meat (usually a whole goat) with a pot underneath it, so that the juices can make a hearty broth. It is then covered with maguey leaves and coal and set alight. The cooking process takes a few hours.
There is ample evidence that both the word and cooking technique migrated out of the Caribbean and into other languages and cultures, with the word (barbacoa) moving from Caribbean dialects into Spanish, then French and English. The Oxford English Dictionary cites the first recorded use of the word in the English language in 1697 by the British buccaneer William Dampier.
While the standard modern English spelling of the word is barbecue, local variations like barbeque and truncations such as bar-b-q or bbq may also be found. In the southeastern United States, the word barbecue is used predominantly as a noun referring to roast pork, while in the southwestern states, cuts of beef are often cooked.
The word barbecue has attracted several inaccurate origins from folk etymology. An often-repeated claim is that the word is derived from the French language. The story goes that French visitors to the Caribbean saw a pig being cooked whole and described the method as barbe à queue, meaning "from beard to tail". The French word for barbecue is also barbecue, and the "beard to tail" explanation is regarded as false by most language experts. The only merit is that it relies on the similar sound of the words, a feature common in folk-etymology explanations. Another claim states that the word BBQ came from the time when roadhouses and beer joints with pool tables advertised "Bar, Beer and Cues". According to this tale, the phrase was shortened over time to BBCue, then BBQ.
The related term buccaneer is derived from the Arawak word buccan, a wooden frame for smoking meat, hence the French word boucane and the name boucanier for hunters who used such frames to smoke meat from feral cattle and pigs on Hispaniola (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic). English colonists anglicised the word boucanier to buccaneer.