Fascinating Facts About BBQ Ribs

BBQ ribs are a major part of American food culture, and they're something that you would not miss from the menu of any barbecue restaurant you visit. Here are some other fascinating facts about BBQ ribs that you can use to get the conversation going at your next get-together in a local barbecue restaurant.

The History of the Barbecue

Before it was possible to freeze meat, having a barbecue was a rare event as it entailed slaughtering a pig and consuming it before it spoiled from the heat in the environment. This meant that only in the cold season was it possible to slaughter a pig as a family, take it apart, and eat it slowly, conserving some parts by smoking it and relying on the cold weather for the rest. During hot seasons, people could slaughter pigs if they had an event that would host a large number of people. This way, it could all be consumed before it had time to go bad.

The Spread of Barbecue

Barbecued ribs are a fairly recent innovation, one that started in the early 20th century and spread rapidly. The spread was fueled by industrial meatpacking and mechanical refrigeration, which meant that more people now had easy access to ribs which they could barbecue at any time they wished. This, in turn, resulted in more varied and richer menus as well as commercial barbecue stands, all of which made barbecues more popular.

The Evolution of Spare Ribs

As mentioned, mechanical refrigeration is a recent event, but people started selling pigs commercially before it came about. This was made possible by introducing a pickling solution made from boiling rock salt and brown sugar in water and then storing the hams and shoulders in barrels, along with whatever amount of jowls, hocks, and chines could fit in the gaps left. This way, there was no room for the ribs, so they were given away for free or thrown away before they could rot.

According to Alliance Work Partners, there are four different cuts of pork ribs you can get and they include spare, country, baby back, and St. Louis styles. These are all available to enjoy thanks to the possibility to preserve and store them for a long time, a fact that we should think about the next time the grill comes out or we visit a barbecue restaurant!