1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Barbecue

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BARBECUE (Span. barbacoa), originally a framework on posts placed over a fire on which to dry or smoke meat; hence, a gridiron for roasting whole animals, and in Cuba an upper floor on which fruit or grain is stored. In the United States the word means an open-air feast, either political or social, where whole animals are roasted and eaten and hogsheads of beer and other vast quantities of food and drink consumed.