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Barbecue in Europe

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    Barbecue in Europe

    My Experiences with BBQ in Europe

    In May of 2010, I was a guest speaker at the Polish Fruit Juice Bottler’s Association’s annual conference in Bialowieza, Poland. The hotel where the conference was held was at the entrance to the Bialowieza National Park, which is 140,000 hectares (345,800 acres), half in Poland and half in neighboring Russia, of virgin forest. In the 13th century, a Polish King declared this forest off limits to anyone but himself and his family, who only used it for recreational hunting. Somehow, this proclamation has been preserved, even centuries later when Russia claimed half of the property. Currently the only activities on the property are tours to see the wild Bison (who resemble Bison in the U.S.), stags (deer) and other wildlife, and barbecues. Paid government hunters take deer and hogs to keep the populations in balance with the food supply. The Russian boars and sows are the ancestors of our wild hogs in the U.S.

    On the afternoon we arrived there was a barbecue in the Bialowieza National Park for conference participants. So at 5 PM we boarded one of the busses taking conference participants to the barbecue, which was about 10 miles down winding dirt roads back into the forest. The barbecue was a wild hog roasting on a spit being turned by hand over coals, the way it was done in Europe hundreds of years ago. They also had medieval games going on, including jousting, sword fighting, hatchet throwing, and archery. The participants were dressed in clothing worn in medieval times. We watched the games while drinking German beer and roasting polish sausages on green wooden sticks over coals from several fires, then eating them on wonderful fresh-baked bread. The boar was served about 9:30, and was dry and very overcooked, almost like jerky.

    The only other time I have had barbecue in Europe was in 1994 in Oosterhout, Holland when I was a guest speaker at a private company’s (Euro-Citrus) annual sales meeting. They served barbecued ribs that were cooked directly over coals. They were burnt on the outside and tough.

    I assume my experiences with BBQ in Europe are not typical of their knowledge of BBQ.

    #2
    Very cool, though it looks like he should have been taken off a few hours earlier.

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      #3
      Cool story, sounds like good memories.

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        #4
        My wife is from Italy. I've travelled some there, as well as Spain and Greece. I've come across grilling, but not so much barbecue as we tend to think of it. That's not to say it's not there, as Texas owes much of its style to German and Czech immigrants, but in the parts of Europe I've seen, it doesn't seem a part of the culture. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, and next time I go I'll check it out.

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          #5
          The wife's friend's set-up in Sardinia.

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          • jmott7
            jmott7 commented
            Editing a comment
            The picture was here last night, dammit!

          #6
          One more try.
          Click image for larger version

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