Sometimes we forget that there are variations of BBQ styles. The truth is that if you were to go to almost any country in the world, you would find something a little different than your traditional summer barbecue of burgers and sausages. Variations can be found in the type of food that is cooked, the sauces and flavourings that are added, and the equipment that is used.
In China, you can enjoy “chuanr”, which are small pieces of meat that are barbecued on skewers. In some areas of the country, you might find that the meat is from a more exotic animal or even insects and bugs. In Taiwan, meat that has been marinated and barbecued is often served on toast. If you go to a BBQ in Japan, you will find that it includes more vegetables and seafood than meat, and noodles are often also cooked this way.
If you are interested in some of the more unusual meats that end up on a BBQ, a trip to North Borneo might be in order, where they cook snake meat this way. However, this is becoming less common nowadays; in most areas, you will find standard meats like lamb.
In Mongolia, the nomadic peoples have their own form of BBQ. They heat stones and layer them with lamb in a pot. The meat is then cooked by the heat from the stones. Don’t be fooled if you go into a restaurant in Mongolia and they tell you that their Mongolian BBQ style comes from the nomadic tribes; it is actually a dish that originated in Taiwan where the meats, vegetables, and noodles are cooked on a flat circular metal plate that has been heated.
Cooking meats on hot stones is a method that is also very popular in the Alpine areas of Europe. This is known as “pierade” and is often carried out directly onto the serving table. In fact, Europe is a place where BBQ traditions are much more familiar, albeit with a few twists. In Scandinavia, a sauce created from juniper berries is popular for serving with barbecued meats.
In South America, you will hear the BBQ technique referred to as “asado”. In parts of Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay, there is also the “asado al disco”, where the BBQ itself is made from the old disc of a plough. This is definitely something fans of the rustic BBQ will enjoy!