Great moments in barbecue from Columbus' pigs to the first Black female hall of famer
The greatest moment in barbecue is each time you take that first bite of ribs, brisket or pork. Barbecue has been a part of America since the country was founded, drawing people together for a feast or helping politicians swing votes their way with a free meal. Here are some notable moments as America's original cuisine grew and evolved.
Christopher Columbus, on his second journey, brought pigs to America, making pulled pork and whole hog barbecue possible. Prior to that, he had encountered Indigenous people smoking meat on the island that would eventually become Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
The word "barbacu'd" appeared in English for the first time in a travel book by Edmund Hickeringill.
"The Kentucky Housewife" cookbook included likely the first printed recipe for barbecue.
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Ford Motor Company began selling pillow-shaped charcoal "briquets" made with the lumber scraps from its car plants. Ford's cousin, Edward G. Kingsford, oversaw the charcoal production. Later, the company would be renamed in his honor.
Heinz launched its barbecue sauce, the first widely available bottled sauce.
Weber introduced its now ubiquitous kettle grill, fashioned by George Stephen from a metal buoy.
Writer Calvin Trillin started his "U.S. Journal" column in the New Yorker magazine. He frequently celebrated regional American foods and helped spark a renewed appreciation of traditional pit barbecue restaurants.
The World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest was added to the Houston rodeo. It will become one of the four most prestigious barbecue competitions in the country.
World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, more commonly called just Memphis in May, launched with only a few dozen teams. It now draws competitors from around the world.
The American Royal Barbecue Contest was added to Kansas City's annual livestock show. It will grow to be one of the largest and most high-profile competitions in the U.S.
Kansas City Barbecue Society was founded. It will go on to train and sanction thousands of judges for barbecue competitions.
Jack Daniel's hosted its first World Championship Invitational Barbecue, better known as The Jack. Only teams that win other cook-offs are invited to compete. The competition, along with Memphis in May, the Kansas City Royal and the Houston Rodeo, is now one of the biggest prizes sought by serious barbecue teams.
Restaurateur Danny Meyer opened Blue Smoke in New York, bringing wood-smoked meats to the heart of Manhattan.
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The Barbecue Hall of Fame held its first induction ceremony at the American Royal in Kansas City.
Texas Monthly magazine hired Daniel Vaughn as America's first "barbecue editor."
Austin pitmaster Aaron Franklin won a James Beard Award, a prize in the past usually given to chefs at fine dining restaurants.
Competition circuit champion Melissa Cookston, known as the "winningest woman in barbecue," became the first woman inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame.
Desiree Robinson, owner of the family-run Cozy Corner in Memphis, becomes the first Black woman inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame.
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