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BBQ's Roots

BBQ got its start on the islands of the Caribbean. Most folks attribute the Taino, natives of the Caribbean islands, with being the first to use smoke to cook their meat. They would use green woods smoke, using indirect heat, to cook things like deer and gator. They called it barbacoa.


Barbacoa, in the native tongue of the time, meant to slow roast meat over smoke, on a wooden platform. 

From Barbacoa to BBQ

Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdes.jfif

The word barbacoa first appeared written in 1526 in a book called Natural History of the West Indies, written by Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdes. Gonzalo was a soldier, historian, writer, botanist and colonist; and was among the first Europeans to arrive to the Caribbean. When he saw the locals cooking over smoke he most have thought it interesting, because he wrote about it in accounts.  They rest, as they say, is history. Barbacoa was brought to the southern parts of the newly colonized North America, took roots, and grew to what we know as BBQ today.

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