When you live in Australia, it's hard to avoid barbecues - especially during the sunnier months.
While they may be commonplace, BBQs also have an interesting history - both in terms of the origins of "barbecue" itself and how these BBQs actually helped speed along human evolution. In today's blog, we look at these facts, as well as a couple of other interesting tidbits to do with world of BBQs.
What's in a name?
According to a large number of language historians, the word "barbecue" most likely came from the word "barbacoa", which was used by the Taino people of the Caribbean. When translated, it meant "sacred fire pit" - a spot-on definition, if you ask us. While some contest these origins, it's considered the most viable explanation to date.
The longest BBQ
If you like sausages, then you may have been envious of Russia back in July 2008. In this month, Russians were cooking up snags on a massive 102-metre BBQ. With the help of 250 skewers, they cooked up a total of 500 sausages on what they claimed to be the longest BBQ in the world. Suffice to say, there was more than one person on the grill.
BBQs have made us smarter
Around 1.6 million years ago, evidence suggests that humans started cooking their meet with controlled fire - which, at this point, is more or less the argued origins of BBQing. Interestingly, this act coincides with a major advancement in the evolution and growth of our brains.
According to biological anthropologist and Harvard University Professor Richard Wrangham, by learning how to cook meat, our distant ancestors freed up the energy that was once used consuming difficult-to-digest raw foods. This energy was instead refocused, which allowed our brains to grow at a more rapid rate.
The most popular BBQ days
When it comes to BBQs, there are some days that are more popular than others. In Australia, these can include the likes of Christmas and New Year's, but one unsurprising standout day is Australia Day itself. This is believed to be the most popular BBQ day in the country.
The same applies to the US. General holidays may inspire BBQs, but the 4th of July - Independence Day - is without a doubt the country's most popular day for having BBQs. It's good that it's summer in the USA during this time. Imagine trying to hold an Indepdence Day BBQ in the dead of a snow-covered winter!
SEE ALSO: 5 essential BBQ cooking tips