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Barbecue: The History of an American Institution Hardcover – August 20, 2010
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Moss knows more about the history of barbecue than anyone I’ve yet encountered, and nothing like this book has ever before been published. To his great credit, he treats his subject seriously but not solemnly. Barbecue is simply a lot of fun to read about. At least it is in Moss’s hands. He has some good stories to tell, and he tells them well. I love it that aristocrats of the South Carolina low country established private clubs where gentlemen could eat cue without having to mingle with the hoi polloi. Who knew that barbecue once flourished in New England?”
John Shelton Reed, coauthor of Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue
“Amazing as it seems, in all the welter of barbecue books extant, there is not a single one that comes close to recording this history. The effort has been long overdue, but here it is, finally, and it fills some huge gaps in the long and colorful story of this food tradition. I venture to guess that if the word gets around that a real social history of barbecue is on the market, it will stir up some genuine interest among the tens of thousands of Americans who love this subject. It’s truly the first comprehensive history of American barbecue.”
—John Egerton, author of Southern Food: At Home, on the Road, in History
Top Customer Reviews
Here the author has taken the barbecue crown for the Americans. Straight from the title: the history of an AMERICAN institution. The book's cover blurb sets the scene perfectly: "Americans enjoy reading about barbecue almost as much as they love eating it. Books on the subject cover almost every aspect of the topic: recipes, grilling tips, restaurant guides, pit-building instruction and catalogues of exotic variants such as Mongolian barbecue and Indian tandoor cooking. Despite this coverage, the history of barbecue in the United States has until now remained virtually untold."
Yet for a subject so dear to the heart of so many, the barbecue has hardly featured in the printed word over time, with the exception of recipe books - of which there are plenty - in more recent times. The author noted that very, very little appeared in print prior to 1900 and what little that had appeared was quite fragmentary in nature. So to construct this work the author has been forced to undertake a lot of painstaking detective work.
Barbecue cooking has, the author notes, been intertwined with American society over time, tracking each change and development in the country's relative short history. Combine this with regional tastes and styles of food with their local ingredient influences and you really have quite a broad subject that is focussed around a common element - the humble barbecue fire or pit. Nowadays, of course, there are many different types of barbecue too and each type attracts so many different opinions.Read more ›
It can be a bit dry, like overcooked brisket but even overcooked BBQ is still worth eating.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a fantastic history on barbecue. Robert Moss is my favorite Southern food historian so I wasn't at all surprised by the breadth and depth of this book. Read morePublished 14 months ago by closetartist