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A brief history of Barbacoa

Barbacoa is an ancient style of BBQ to be put simply.

The oldest known use of it was by the Aztec. They would dig a deep hole in the earth and build a fire of very hot coals, line it with agave leaves and slow roast (almost steam) small game meats, birds and sometimes fish. They would cover the top tightly with more agave leaves, cover it up and let it cook all day, sometimes overnight.

The more I researched about this style of cooking, the more I found that it wasn't as centralized to Mexico as I once thought. One of my main points of reference is a book called Congotay! Congotay! A Global History of Caribbean Food, by Candice Goucher.

A great book to learn about Caribbean food

The more I read, the more was revealed that this "earth-oven" cooking was widespread throughout the Caribbean. Natives traveling by long boat, from island to island, couldn't bring much and had to hunt and cook on the move.

An earth-oven, buried in the earth and covered, could cook all day while they were out fishing and hunting. Efficient, easy, and the results must have been delectable!

The Arawak/Tainos (Jamaican natives) were the first who historically used large, green, fire-resistant, flexible limbs and leaves like the banana leaf. They used them to cook different meats and fish with tropical herbs and spices found naturally in the Caribbean and South America.

Cinnamon, nutmeg, chilies and allspice are some of the spices that were used. They weren’t only used to enhance flavour, they were also used to preserve foods and keep them from spoiling in the tropical heat.

Anything cooked low and slow with a ton of flavour is all me!

I knew Barbacoa was the right fit for my catering company name.

It just felt like a natural paring between the Barbacoa and the "Boyz" I've been talking so much about.

And so, Barbacoa Boyz was born.

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