Barbecue sauce or often abbreviated as BBQ sauce is often used as a flavoring sauce, condiment, a marinade, basting, or topping for meats such as pork, beef ribs, and chicken that are cooked in the barbecue cooking style. It is also used on many other foods as well making it a universal condiment in the Southern United States.
The ingredients of a barbecue sauce vary widely within individual countries. But it mostly contains vinegar, tomato paste, or mayonnaise as a base. Aside from that, it can also include liquid smoke, onion powder, and spices such as black pepper and mustard as well sweeteners like sugar or molasses.
Barbecue is indeed one of our most favorite when it comes to sauces. But have you ever wondered how it was first created and who invented it? If you’re curious as well, then read on because we’re here to tell you about the history of barbecue sauce.
Origins of Barbecue Sauce
There’s no exact and clear story of how BBQ sauce came to life but there are some traces of evidence. One of those is that at the end of the 15th century, Christopher Columbus brought back an ancient sauce that was used for cooking Alpaca meat back from Hispaniola. It was the native tribes of North and South America who introduced the art of barbecuing to the Europeans. After that, the BBQ sauce started to evolve.
When it comes to BBQ sauces, South Carolina is known to have the longest history on barbecue preparation, making it common to use today. There are four basic styles of BBQ sauces that originated in South Carolina and are still being used today in America. They are mustard BBQ sauce, vinegar and pepper BBQ sauce, light tomato BBQ sauce, and heavy tomato BBQ sauce. They are broken down by the ingredient used to create the sauce.
South Carolina was a British colony during the colonization and thousands of people settled there like the British, German, Scottish, and more. German families were hardworking and resourceful and they were given to an intensive family-farm type to work on the agriculture. German settlements spread all over South Carolina and they brought with them the mustard. They started making mustard factories and sold them out to the public, making mustard a huge success in South Carolina.
There were also Scottish families that settled in South Carolina. They are most famous for bringing the Vinegar and Pepper barbecue. The vinegar and pepper barbecue sauce became the oldest South Carolina sauces today.
The Light Tomato BBQ sauce style was born in South Carolina in the 1900s. It is similar to the vinegar and pepper style but the difference is that tomato ketchup is added. Since ketchup is a readily famous sauce to use in almost all dish, someone added ketchup to the vinegar and pepper sauce, making it a little sweeter. This is the most famous BBQ sauce style in North Carolina.
The Heavy Tomato BBQ sauce style was the most recent barbecue sauce made. It was created by Kraft Foods. This style is not exactly considered as a South Carolina BBQ sauce but it is to the United States.
Barbecue sauce has evolved over the years. The Georgia Barbecue Sauce Company in Atlanta made the first commercially produced barbecue sauce and it was advertised for sale in the Atlanta Constitution on January 31, 1909. In 1917, the oldest commercial barbecue sauce still made began when Adam Scott opened a barbecue restaurant in Goldsboro, NC. Up until today, Scott’s Family Barbecue Sauce is still available and it is one of East Carolina’s classic.
In 1940, Heinz also released its barbecue sauce. Kraft Foods also began making cooking oils with bags of “Quick-Mix Barbecue Sauce” attached, which supplied another market entrance of barbecue sauce.
There are lots of sources that say the first bottled barbecue sauce was created by H.J. Heinz from Pittsburgh in 1948, however, Louis Maull from St. Louis did it 22 years earlier. Heinz may have been the first to nationally distribute bottled BBQ sauces, but they are not the first to have them bottled
In the present time, there are hundreds of restaurants that have their own special BBQ sauce recipe. You can also find lots of barbecue sauce in bottles being sold in supermarkets and grocery stores worldwide. Many commercial sauces were made and have now disappeared, but one thing remained. And that is BBQ sauce will always be one of our favorite sauces.