Natives, Spaniards Originated Barbecue in 1500s

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While enjoying your barbecue ribs or sandwich over Fourth of July weekend, thank your Indian ancestors for passing on our foodways. 

Barbeque authority Lake E. High Jr. traces the origins of America's beloved food back to the early Spansih settlement of Port Royal in Beaufort County, South Carolina, in the 1500s. 

The Spanish brought the livestock, but barbecue came about thanks to the Indian tradition of slow-cooking with smoke. 

“So, in that first fateful coming together, way back in the 1500s, the Spanish supplied the pig, and the Indians showed them how to cook it," High told the columbiastar.com. "That is when authentic barbeque was first eaten." 

Barbecue stems from the Taino/Arawak word for barbacoa.

According to High, only pork can be called true barbeque--“cooked over very low, indirect heat for a very long time. It also must be kissed by the airborne marinade of smoke. No smoke, no barbeque,” he says.