Smoked foods are the type of meals that are prepared through the process of smoking. Most of the foods that are being smoked are the meats and fish. However, even cheese, vegetables, and other ingredients in certain beverages are also processed through smoking.
During the process of smoking, a food will be exposed to the smoke for a certain period of time. The smoke that is being exposed to the food will be coming from burning woods or any materials that can be burned. Alder is the type of wood that is traditionally being used in smoking because it is great for outdoor grills. But, the most commonly used is the oak wood and beech.
While the food is exposed to the smoke, the smoke deeply penetrates the inner part of the food. This process causes the distinctive smoky flavor of smoked foods. Aside from the flavor, the food will also become brown in color due to the chemical reaction between the burning material and fire. Moreover, even though the food is not directly being touched by the fire, the food will somehow become cooked because of the hot smoke.
The process of smoking of food began during the times of primitive cavemen. This was their way of preserving their meats and fish. But smoking as a process of cooking started in the 1700s and was introduced to the Caribbean through the African slaves that were imported by the British. Some of these slaves are American slaves.
Typically, slaves are only left with the worst cuts of animal meat. With this poor quality of food, only slow cooking and gentle smoking are the only ways to make these waste cuts enjoyable to eat. Soon after, they found out that these smoked food are good with sauces that will further enhance the flavor of the meat. Later on, these smoked foods became part of a main house meal in the late 1800s.
When the Civil War has ended, the former American slaves continued the cooking process of smoking. And to earn something for a living, they found an opportunity in the smoked foods. Hence, they began selling this delicious type of food within their villages and neighboring towns. Shortly, every small town in America started putting up pit-style food houses where smoked foods are part of the main menu.
For many years, pit traditions had become a local gathering in every small town in the United State of America and barbecue, a type of smoked food, became a phenomenon. Every house has a grill the best barbecue with this equipment and grilling became a hobby in leisure times.
Currently, each small town in the United States has their own signature smoked food dishes. There are small restaurants and food businesses, or pit style roadhouses that are still offering smoked foods. Primarily, small town roadhouses sell smoke foods for their neighbors and co-residents. However, residents from other places intentionally visit small towns just to taste the authentic flavor of smoked foods. In addition, other small towns even hold small gatherings, events, and contests to promote their smoked foods.