Barbeque sauce, which can also be spelt barbecue or BBQ sauce, is well-known and well-loved all over the country. In fact barbeque sauce is found in many countries in various forms. You can use it as a condiment, topping, basting agent or marinade for barbequed meat and other dishes. It is believed this sauce dates back at least a few hundred years, and one variety – South Carolina mustard sauce – can be traced all the way back to German settlers in the 1700s.
Barbeque sauce ingredients vary widely, as can the consistency, color and flavor of the barbeque sauce. Some kind of tomato or vinegar base is nearly always used, spices like pepper and mustard are common, and sweeteners and/or liquid smoke are frequently used to flavor it. Barbeque sauce is widely available from just about every grocery store, and it is also possible to make it at home so you can control the consistency, tartness, sweetness, and heat levels.
Different regions have their own barbeque sauce recipes. You will find tomato-based sauces in the North and mustard and vinegar-based ones in the South. Ketchup is a popular base for barbeque sauce in Asia while chimichurri in South America is a parsley-based sauce served with barbequed food. Tomato and Worcestershire sauce are combined to make Australia’s take on barbeque sauce, and Brazilian cooks combine vinegar, tomato, onion, olive oil, and parsley to make theirs. It is fair to say the United States has more variations on barbeque sauce than any other country, ranging from watery to thick, sweet to tart, mild to extra-spicy, and yellow, orange or red to very dark brown.
Whether you prefer sticky and sweet, hot and spicy, smoky and rich, or tangy with mustard or vinegar, there are barbeque sauces for every palate, and to suit every dish. Many of these sauces are made by combining the ingredients in a pan and simmering them together until the sauce is thick, before letting it cool down, although some recipes just involve stirring the ingredients together. A lot of barbeque recipes may be tweaked, so if you want to spice it up with more chilies, thicken it with cornstarch slurry, add a few drops of liquid smoke, or add extra molasses or brown sugar, anything is possible.
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