From Plastic Tub

The barbecue is a ritual enjoyed all over the world. In Latin America is is called a barbacoa, or an asado and even the Hawaiians get in on the action at a Luau. Many philologists believe that the word came into English via Spanish from the Taíno Indians of the Caribbean; the French maintain that it comes from putting a spit through an animal from barbe (beard) à (to) queue (tail). Whatever the origin, however, it is an almost universally recognized symbol of "good eats." The word in this sense not only denotes the event, but the style of cooking.

In America, the word has a variety of linguistic forms, sometimes but not strictly delineated along cultural lines. Ex-Black Panther and chef Bobby Seale maintains that any black restaurant worth its salt calls it "BBQ." White people of the working class know it as the "Bar-B-Q." Denizens of the suburbs go for the more proper "barbecue." As a matter of fact, the variants are used freely among all groups, but the statistical division is an intriguing area for further study.

Whatever the appellation, the ritual is the same. A fire is made. Succulent meats such as pork, chicken, beef, and even ostrich are consumed. The simplest and perhaps most commonly-used meats come in the form of hot dogs, sausages and hamburgers, but barbecue menus can be much more sophisticated. Usually, beer is consumed in great quantities.

Every year, the AA holds a barbecue called the Incidentalist Dead Flesh Bonanza, which includes a fiery chili cookoff.

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Texans are liable to shoot anyone claiming that Wisconsin is the king of the BBQ. None-the-less, Cheeseheads hold more BBQs per capita than Longhorns. But since Wisconsin BBQs tend to involve boiling foreign meats like "brats" and generally include no barbecue sauce, the Texans may be kings after all.