When we are talking about the American BBQ in England, we are not simply referring to the one you pull out on a Sunday afternoon when the weather is fine. American BBQ has become a popular fast food option, particularly in London, where there are a number of BBQ restaurants open now.
In the US, BBQ is the term often given to cooking meat over a wood fire to give it a smoky taste. A popular accompaniment is barbecue sauce, which is also rapidly gaining in popularity in the UK even though it is not needed for most types of BBQ. However, there are different styles of BBQ in different areas of the US.
The BBQ tradition in the US goes back as far as colonial times. Although the practice expanded as the country did, it is still most popular in the southeastern region of the country. It is worth remembering that many of the colonists in the US were British; this is how the practice made its way back to the UK.
Those who have started up BBQ restaurants in the UK believe that while the English do appreciate the BBQ tradition, we do not have the same culture for it as Americans do. One of the growing trends in BBQ is the hog roast. This is something that has long been popular in parts of the US and until recently was described as “un-British”.
In many of the BBQ outlets in London, owners have taken American traditions and put a British spin on them. While people want the tradition and food of BBQ, they still want it to feel British. Trying to be completely American in England can be difficult, particularly if the restaurant owners are focusing on one regional style; it will be unfamiliar and might lose something in translation when it comes to attracting English customers.
It is thought that the American BBQ in England is a trend that is here to stay. Many people are opting for things like hog roasts for special occasions such as weddings and birthday parties. There is also a growing trend of moving away from the staples of burgers and sausages on the BBQ at the weekend, with people trying different cuts of meat and different sauces and side dishes to go with them. Trying to copy the style exactly can be challenging, but it is not difficult to take the basic principles and play with them until you find something that you like.