Savage Barbecue

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Savage Barbecue: Race, Culture, and the Invention of America’s First Food is a book about the evolution of barbecue in the New World.

Content of the book[edit]

In Savage Barbecue, Andrew Warnes looks at the history of what he calls the first American food from a sociological and historical perspective rather than how cooking techniques differ over time and between regions today, beginning with Columbus’ first meetings with the natives of Hispaniola and explores the ties between barbecue and southern life during and after slavery. It emphasizes that barbecue in the context in which we now know it is not a wholly American cooking style, but has been influenced by European culture and cooking, and explores the racial aspects of the dish. Illustrations include some of the paintings and drawings of the colonial period, which show the Europeans' fascination with human limbs on a wooden grill while portraying the exotic nature of cooking meats and fish over fire. The book has four chapters with each one providing a specific way of looking at the historical background, the art, and act of barbecue.

He presents a concise view of how barbecue has changed with and throughout the history of America, arguing that barbecue is an attempt to express nothing more than European need to look at practices that occur in cultures outside of the Eurocentric norm as savage and barbaric, thus providing them a way to discuss the violent nature of those who created the cooking style while maintaining and asserting their perceived superiority above them.

See also[edit]


Warnes, Andrew. Savage Barbecue: Race, Culture, and the Invention of America’s First Food, The University of Georgia Press, Athens & London. (2008) ISBN 978-0-8203-3109-6 ISBN 0-8203-3109-0 Review of Book performed as part of Indiana University E621 Food and Culture Graduate Class in The new Anthropology of Food PhD program