Before Listening

Barbecue is one of the most popular foods in America. But what is barbecue, exactly? Is it anything cooked on a grill? Is it a kind of spice? Where did the word come from, and where can one find great barbecue?

Christopher Kimble of America’s Test Kitchen interviews Robb Walsh, author of “Barbecue Crossroads,” to find out more about the origins and current state of this classic of American food.

Before you listen, think about these questions:

  • What kind of food do you think of when you hear “barbecue”?
  • Is there barbecue in your country? How is it prepared?
  • What kinds of food are most traditional in your country? Are they still prepared in the same way, or do people take shortcuts?
  • Kimble and Walsh talk about barbecue as a mix of the cooking traditions of several peoples. Which peoples in North America do you think may have contributed to barbecue?
  • Where do you think the word “barbecue” comes from?
  • Where can one find the best, most authentic barbecue?