A Word On Food: Barbacoa

We can argue on what is and what is not ‘real’ barbecue. We have and will continue to .. forever. It is one of those things so core to our identity and personal provenance. If a person from Texas says he or she is making barbecue likely you will be eating beef. If a person from the Carolinas is doing the ‘cue’ likely you will be eating pork. But if my research is correct they are late to the smokey dance in terms of who was doing it first. 

The Caribe Indians on the island of Hispaniola taught the Spanish how to use the green wood lattices to make barbacoa—or what we now know as barbecue. A staple of the islanders’ diet was the wild hog. The locals called the animals boucan, and that word eventually came to be applied to many of the wild, seafaring island men: buccaneers. 


Now it’s time to hit the ‘Listen on WLRN’ button at the top to hear the remainder of my show. ‘A Word On Food’ airs on WLRN every Saturday around 8:30 a.m. at 91.3 and also 91.5 on the radio. I want to thank so many of you who tell me in person how much you are enjoying the show! Please check out my Instagram photos and my new IG TV cooking videos @normanvanaken 

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