This season has brought us the revival of travel and socializing. The company of friends and family over a meal has truly been the summer highlight for many. While for others, it’s the thrill of exploring new destinations and world flavors that made the sunny days enjoyable. And what better way to talk about summer food and travel than to present 8 of the world’s best barbecues. In no particular order, here is the list of our Must-Try Barbecues.
1. Japan: Yakitori
Japan’s famous grilled skewers may look like a simple dish best enjoyed with a cold beer. But the secret to these savory bites is precision—in flavoring, cut of meat, and grilling technique. Yakitori masters pay great attention to details in ensuring that every yakitori dish that comes out of their kitchen is evenly cooked, tender, and has the perfect umami taste. The best yakitoris to try is chicken thighs, butabara (pork), and Wagyu beef.
2. Germany: Schwenker
There’s something about smoked meat that makes outdoor gatherings memorable. When in Germany, don’t miss out on a local’s invite to a schwenker a.k.a. the German version of a backyard barbecue—only better, thanks to its unique circular hanging grill. Schwenker usually features sausages, hamburgers, steaks, lamb chops, and German favorite Schweinekamm or pork neck.
3. Philippines: Lechon
Take the cue from the late Anthony Bourdain, the “best pig ever” is in Cebu, Philippines. So, what did the food legend take a bite of? It’s Lechon, a whole roasted suckling pig. The outer layer of a Lechon is crispy pork skin and its meat is very tender. Lechon is seasoned with sea salt, pepper, lemongrass, garlic, onions, and red chilies and then roasted for about 5 to 6 hours—making this festive pork dish mouth-wateringly delicious.
4. Brazil: Churrasco
Popular in South America, churrasco (meaning grilled meat in Portuguese and Spanish) is a staple in Brazilian celebrations and outdoor gatherings. When you visit a local churrascaria or a restaurant in Brazil serving this grilled meat goodness, expect to receive unlimited slices of beef skirt steak, pork Asado, chorizo, chicken, and if you’re lucky, lamb chops! Churrasco is typically eaten with roasted potatoes, garlic bread, and farofa (Brazilian couscous).
5. Australia: Shrimp on the Barbie
What started as a running joke, became an Aussie fave. Shrimp on the barbie or grilled prawns are popular skewers at picnics and Australian barbies (barbecue events). As most Australians are becoming more health-conscious, these small crustaceans are now the go-to protein. Pair a stick of these shrimps with a skinny margarita for a delicious taste of Aussie summer.
6. South Africa: Braai
South Africans take pride in their Braai and they are very particular in using only chopped wood for grilling, charcoal is also acceptable but gas-grilling is a no-no. Any meat can be grilled at a South African Braai, including exotic sources of protein, such as ostrich meat, wild boar, and kudu. For side dishes, expect to find braaibroodjie (grilled cheese sandwich with vegetables), pap or corn porridge, and samp and beans readily available at these cookouts.
7. Turkey: Shish Kebab
A Turkish shish kebab is packed with flavors and aroma, thanks to its generous seasoning of spices and fresh herbs. Traditionally, shish kebabs use lamb meat, but beef and chicken are popular as well. Vegetables, such as tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchinis, and mushrooms are usually grilled separately from the meat skewers. But when eaten together, these kebabs just complement well.
8. USA: Barbecue Ribs
America is never short of good barbecue. While pulled pork, beef brisket, and belly roasts are worthy of mention, no grilled meat can be more American than some good old-fashioned barbecue ribs. Be it, pork baby back or beef ribs, these succulent fall-off-the-bone meats are a delight in every bite. When ordering ribs, make sure to try the four famous BBQ styles in the US—Carolina, Kansas City, Memphis, and Texas to find your favorite.
Wondering what’s a good dish to try in your next travel destination? Don’t hesitate to ask your Viyahe travel assistant via chat to get some great recommendations!