Numerous countries around the world are famous for its barbeque traditions, and the UK is amongst them. The UK has strong indigenous barbecue culture. Something of a Bank Holiday or lazy Saturday tradition is a barbecue. A quick glimpse of the sun, and its the optimistic rush to the garden shed for the grill.
British tradition is to invite pretty much everyone to a barbeque. Digging around in the shed, cupboards and loft for an assortment of chairs and blankets to accommodate everyone.
Then the food. Brits over prepare for BBQs in the same way that they do for Christmas but buying the supermarket out of food! Head to a supermarket on a sunny Saturday, and there won’t be a burger or sausage in sight.
Ideally preparing food in the morning or even the night before works out best, marinating any meat the night before but Brits are last minute in preparation, generally because of the unpredictability of the weather.
Ahhhh, the Brits and the weather. A proud national obsession, with its endless changeability and unpredictability. The constant checking and changing and feeling it out. Any planning will involve vigorously checking the weather on numerous apps or websites, in the vain hope that it might actually be true.
Many BBQs starts with the optimistic weather but will end in the mad dash to the kitchen once the rain begins, with the poor chef underneath an umbrella to make sure the food still gets cooked.
The Food and Drink
Burgers and sausages are a staple of the British BBQ. Everyone will bring crisps and there are never enough burger buns to go round (why are they in packs of 4 when burgers are in packs of 6!). Dessert is most probably a Victoria Sponge and the drinks are beers and nowadays ciders. Someone will make a jug of Pimms, especially if Wimbledon is on the telly.
The sausages will be burnt on the outside but raw in the middle. The chicken will be well overcooked due to the panic of it being raw in the middle. Everyone will eat lots but there will be plenty left over, especially the potato salad.
There’s something irresistible about the prospect of food sizzling over smoky charcoal and eating outdoors with friends and family on a warm sunny day. An almost primitive act of cooking large slabs of red meat over flames. Most men will revel in having a few cold beers while the fire is burning, the smoke rising, the captivating aromas.
A BBQ is an energetic and engaging experience, and if you are ever invited it is well worth attending