Savage Barbecue: Race, Culture, and the Invention of America's First Foodby Andrew Warnes
Pub. Date: 08/15/2008
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Barbecue, says Warnes, is an invented tradition.
And, especially in the American South, it can cause intense debate and stir regional pride. Perhaps, then, it is no surprise that the roots of this food tradition are often misunderstood. In Savage Barbecue, Andrew Warnes traces what he calls America's first food through early transatlantic literature and culture.
Barbecue, says Warnes, is an invented tradition. Much like Thanksgiving, it has close associations with frontier mythologies of ruggedness and relaxation. Starting with Columbus's journals in 1492, Warnes shows how the perception of barbecue evolve from Spanish colonists' first fateful encounter with natives roasting iguanas and fish over fires on the beaches of Cuba. European colonists linked the new food to a savagery they perceived in American Indians, ensnaring barbecue in a growing web of racist attitudes about the New World. Warnes also unearths barbecue's etymological origins, including the early form barbacoa; its coincidental similarity to barbaric reinforced emerging stereotypes.
Barbecue, as it arose in early transatlantic culture, had less to do with actual native practices than with a European desire to define those practices as barbaric. The word barbecue retains an element of violence that can be seen in our culture to this day.
About the Author:
Andrew Warnes is Lecturer in American Literature and Culture at Leeds University. He is the author of Hunger Overcome? (Georgia) and Richard Wright's "Native Son"
- University of Georgia Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations ix
From Barbacoa to Barbecue: An Invented Etymology 12
London Broil 50
Pit Barbecue Present and Past 88
Barbecue between the Lines 137
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