You might be familiar with the UK’s traditional Sunday afternoon BBQ. It usually consists of whichever burgers and sausages are on offer at the supermarket and takes place when the weather is favourable. Outside of the UK, however, BBQing is very different and it is well worth incorporating some of the exciting ideas that are practised abroad.
The BBQ in South Africa is known as the “braai”. This is a social custom that can be found in most of the southern part of the continent. Charcoal and open flame braais are traditional, but in recent years, many homes have opted for a gas version because it is considered cleaner. These are very social occasions where guests bring some type of meat or side dish. Most braais will serve a variety of meats and fishes cooked this way. The meat is often served with a type of porridge called pap. Generally speaking, braais take place regardless of the weather, and there is even a Braai Day in September each year.
In China, the BBQ tradition is known as “chuanr”, which refers to the small pieces of meat that are roasted on skewers over charcoal. This is a tradition that has become popular in the last few years. If you are visiting the country, you might find that you are served bugs or insects as well as meat at a chaunr. Over in Hong Kong, a barbecue of pork meats is popular; these are traditionally served with a marinade of honey and soy sauce. It has been given the name “char sui”, which is familiar to those who enjoy a Chinese takeaway!
If you are at a BBQ in the Mediterranean region, you will find that the local cuisine has influenced its style. There is plenty of olive oil in evidence. You will find that while chicken and steaks are popular meats as they are in the UK, you will also see halloumi cheese and pita breads cooked and served this way. The Russian version of the shish kebab is the food most commonly barbecued here, and while lamb is popular, you might also be served beef, pork, chicken or sturgeon.
There are many more BBQ styles to be found around the world, and it is great fun to try new ways of enjoying this tradition, so give it a go!