SYMHC Live: A Brief (U.S.) History of Barbecue


Pictures of the South -- Barbecue at Augusta, Georgia, a wood engraving from a sketch by Theodore R. Davis, published in Harper's Weekly, November 1866. Public domain

In November, we toured Texas! So we selected the very apt topic of barbecue. Barbecue is deeply tied to language and history and culture, especially in the South – so this episode is about a lot more than meat.

Many thanks to Austin, Dallas and Houston for showing us a delightful time!

Tracy's Research:

  • "barbecue, n." OED Online, Oxford University Press, September 2019, www.oed.com/view/Entry/15409. Accessed 5 November 2019.
  • "barbecue, v." OED Online, Oxford University Press, September 2019, www.oed.com/view/Entry/15410. Accessed 5 November 2019.
  • Bass, S. Jonathan. “’How 'bout a Hand for the Hog’: The Enduring Nature of the Swine as a Cultural Symbol in the South.” Southern Cultures, Vol. 1, No. 3 (Spring 1995). Via JSTOR. https://www.jstor.org/stable/44376468
  • Fertel, Rien. “The One True Barbecue.” AJC. 7/3/2016. http://specials.myajc.com/true-barbecue/
  • Geiling, Natasha. “The Evolution of American Barbecue.” Smithsonian. 7/18/2013. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/the-evolution-of-american-barbecue-13770775/
  • Hollingsworth, G. Dixon Jr. “The Story of Barbecue.” The Georgia Historical Quarterly, Vol. 63, No. 3 (Fall, 1979). https://www.jstor.org/stable/40580545
  • Houck, Breanna. “Regional Barbecue Sauce Styles, Explained.” Eater.com. 6/18/2016. https://www.eater.com/2016/6/18/11966056/barbecue-sauce-styles
  • Lee, Alexander. “The History of the Barbecue.” History Today. 8/8/2019. https://www.historytoday.com/archive/historians-cookbook/history-barbecue
  • Littell's Living Age, Volume 31. T.H. Carter & Company. 1851. https://books.google.com/books?id=IgdBgM2NjBMC&ppis=_e&dq=%22as+there+were+neither+towels+nor+water+near+them,+the+cooks+made+their+mouths+answer+the+double+purpose+of+towels+and+water%22&source=gbs_navlinks_s
  • Matthews, Kristin L. “One Nation Over Coals: Cold War Nationalism and the Barbecue.” American Studies, Vol. 50, No. 3/4 (Fall/Winter 2009). https://www.jstor.org/stable/41287749
  • Miller, Tim. “Barbecue: A History.” Rowman & Littlefield. 2014.
  • Morton, Mark. “Barbecue Mania.” Gastronomica , Vol. 2, No. 3 (Summer 2002). https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/gfc.2002.2.3.11.
  • Moss, Robert F. “Barbecue: The History of an American Institution.” University of Alabama Press. 2010.
  • Munsell, John. “The New York Teacher, Vol. 9.” 1860. https://books.google.com/books?id=Zvc9AQAAMAAJ&ppis=_e&dq=paul+denton+barbecue&source=gbs_navlinks_s
  • Reed, John Shelton. “There’s a Word for It — The Origins of “Barbecue.” Southern Cultures , Vol. 13, No. 4, The Global South (WINTER 2007). https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/26391738
  • Smith, Steve. “The Rhetoric of Barbeque: A Southern Rite and Ritual.” Studies in Popular Culture, Vol. 8, No. 1 (1985). https://www.jstor.org/stable/23412910
  • Twitty, Michael W. “Barbecue is an American tradition – of enslaved Africans and Native Americans.” The Guardian. 7/4/2015. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/04/barbecue-american-tradition-enslaved-africans-native-americans
  • Warnes, Andrew. “Guantánamo, Eatonville, Accompong: Barbecue and the Diaspora in the Writings of ZoraNeale Hurston.” Journal of American Studies, Vol. 40, No. 2 (Aug., 2006). https://www.jstor.org/stable/27557797
  • Warnes, Andrew. “Savage Barbecue: Race, Culture and the Invention of America’s First Food.” University of Georgia Press. 2008.

Topics in this Podcast: live shows, meat, Texas, food, culinary history, U.S. history