Home » Savage Barbecue: Race, Culture, and the Invention of Americas First Food by Andrew Warnes
Savage Barbecue: Race, Culture, and the Invention of Americas First Food Andrew Warnes

Savage Barbecue: Race, Culture, and the Invention of Americas First Food

Andrew Warnes

Published August 15th 2008
ISBN : 9780820331096
Paperback
224 pages
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 About the Book 

Barbecue is a word that means different things to different people. It can be a verb or a noun. It can be pulled pork or beef ribs. And, especially in the American South, it can cause intense debate and stir regional pride. Perhaps, then, it is noMoreBarbecue is a word that means different things to different people. It can be a verb or a noun. It can be pulled pork or beef ribs. 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 Americas first food through early transatlantic literature and culture. Building on the work of scholar Eric Hobsbawm, Warnes argues that barbecue is an invented tradition, much like Thanksgiving-one long associated with frontier mythologies of ruggedness and relaxation.Starting with Columbuss journals in 1492, Warnes shows how the perception of barbecue evolved 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 the etymological origins of the word barbecue, 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. Warnes argues that the word barbecue retains an element of violence that can be seen in our culture to this day. Savage Barbecue offers an original and highly rigorous perspective on one of Americas most popular food traditions.