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American BBQ 2.0

American BBQ 2.0

Nothing says summer like an American BBQ. Anyone who grew up in the United States can remember summer days spent outside by the pool and evening cookouts with family and friends. Of all the smells of summer, the smell of food cooking on the grill brings back the best memories. And it’s not just the meats on the fire - burgers, hot dogs, brisket, or chicken - that make the mouth water. It’s also the sides, creamy salads and chocolate pies. Even the veggies are better at a BBQ - corn on the cob and onions and bell peppers on kebobs. Everything just tastes better on the grill. So why fix what isn’t broken? Classic BBQ can never be replaced, let’s get that right, but some pit masters are experimenting with new offerings for the family picnic. Is America ready for BBQ 2.0?

Slightly Left of Center

In keeping with the melting pot theme that is America, some culinary trailblazers are searching out new things to cook low and slow over an indirect flame. They have experimented with grilling oysters in the half shell with garlic butter and calamari. Sounds pretty good so far! And pizza on the grill? Those who have tried it say it’s hard to go back to the oven. In keeping with the fish theme, grilled lobster adds another dimension to a lobster roll – you grill the lobster first and then toss it with the mayo and put it on a grilled split bun. And if you want some non-animal protein – grilled tofu can take a notoriously bland source and take it up a few notches.

You Want Me To Grill What?

And then there are foods you never even thought of grilling. These ingredients really test the old adage that everything tastes better on the grill! Believe it or not – putting apricots, watermelon and pineapple on the grill is not an accident, but instead a tasty treat. The sweetness mixed with a little bit of char makes for a great combination. And in keeping with the sweet theme, grilling pound cake or angel food cake is also delicious. The grill gives the cakes a thin layer of sugary crunch for a bit of texture.

The Sides Have It

Corn on the cob and zucchini are not the only sides that you can serve at your next backyard bbq. Expand your side selection and add Brussels sprouts, fava beans, romaine lettuce wedges, cauliflower, and eggplant to your BBQ menu and witness your guests’ delight. And you can complement those grilled veggie sides with some cheese – grilled of course – whether it be firm halloumi cheese or oozing camembert grilled in its rind. This is American BBQ 2.0 for sure!

It’s nice to know that no matter what happens, we can always put some burgers and dogs on the grill, scoop out some potato salad and carve ourselves a nice big slice of apple pie. Because even though food is constantly evolving and a desire to try new things is intrinsic to American DNA, there are some pastimes that we cherish just as they’ve always been. A BBQ is one of them. Laughter, delicious aromas, and second helpings - that’s an American BBQ, and it’s a tradition that’s here to stay. But there is no harm whatsoever in throwing some things on the grill that add a little pizazz to the backyard party – even if its only once in awhile.  Because the truth is, everything really does taste better on the grill.