Field of Science

Barbie - Australian for Barbecue

Some of my best times, best friends, and best field research have taken place in Australia, so while quite fond of the people and place, one item does divide us. Barbecue. In Australia a "barbie" is a device for cooking, not actually a grill, in our sense, but more of a hot plate or griddle. Otherwise barbecue is used as a verb down under, something that you do to cook food. Until the Phactor got this figured out it caused some confusion because as all right thinking people know barbecue is something that you eat. Without arguing about all the various types of barbecue, Australia just never got this part of speech right. It was very difficult to attempt to set those in my acquaintance right. You had to get a butcher to get you the right cut of meat. And then you had to get the makings for a decent rub, and as Australian food runs to the milder end of the spectrum, this was no where as easy as in the USA. Then it was necessary to concoct a replica of a BBQ sauce for the full effect, and in this case leaning toward the vinegary North Carolina type. Quite a bit of modification to a "barbie" was required to get a couple of slabs of ribs cooked properly, and while not perfect, they were acceptable. While they didn't like the BBQ ribs at all, somehow it all got eaten. As for corn bread and beans, let's not go there.

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