Beard to tail, anyone?

12 Jan

There I was just following up a short little mention of a pop-up restaurant in London called Beard to Tail, when I uncovered the biggest foodie-fight around (that’s what it felt like to me anyway) – on the etymology of the word barbecue! Intrigued by visions of animals with beards and managing to think only of goats, I decided to pursue this into the Interwebs. According to various media coverages of the restaurant, it gets it name from the French root of barbecue, i.e. barbe à queue, which literally means beard to tail. It certainly gives added depth to going the whole hog. Buuut, as you will discover, if you too pursue this, that is just one of two major and hotly contested schools of thought on the origins of the word barbecue. The other major school claims its derived from barbacoa, a word attributed to various peoples in the Caribbean (Guyana, Haiti, West Indies, depending on your source) which has something to do with a framework of sticks or a sacred fire, again, depending on your source. Actually, the BBQ explanation I like most of all is Bar,Beer,Cue,(Pig) – from a whiskey bar, a beer hall and a pool establishment which offered whole roasted porkeroos. If you have some time while your mustachioed spare ribs are slow-cooking you can visit a really comprehensive take here.



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