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BBQ, Barbecue, Barbie or Braai ?

Oct 22, 2007
When an Aussie says 'would you fancy a barbie at my place tomorrow?' they are not speaking of an American doll with a large bosom. Barbie is simply slang for barbecue and there is great similarity between the behavior of the Australians and many other nationalities when the sun shines on a nice summer day; the air fills with clouds of smoke from the burning charcoal, heat beats or just a gas barbecue store in the park. The range of food items includes meat to seafood. Seafood is used frequently for a Christmas barbecue and hence the phrase 'prawn on a barbie'. Seafood is used frequently may be because of the easy access to this type of food. Australia is a world producer of lobster, squid, octopus and cuttlefish.

The Australians are also known to use portable grills to make the barbie as a picnic. They often combine being at the beach with grilling. A normal day at the beach includes the fumes of grills cooking up seafood and a few burgers and hot dogs as well.

Unity through the grill

In some country such as South Africa, BBQ has its own significant day. On September the 24, which is also the National Heritage Day, the South Africans are united by the braai. This doesn't mean that each city throws a gigantic BBQ for its citizens, but rather that people charge up their grills for friends and family in their private gardens. The word braai comes from the word braaivleis which is Afrikaans for roasted meat. In South Africa there are 11 different official languages but the only word used for BBQ is braai. Therefore this national grill day is seen as a manifestation of unity.

How to make a real BBQ

The ingredients for a successful BBQ are universal. They might differ slightly depending on what kind of foods are most commonly eaten but it is a fact that the BBQ is mainly a social event wherever it is held. Almost anything can be put on the grill but it is important to adjust the props to the crowd that participates. A good BBQ includes snacks, drinks and many times music and games. If the BBQ is enjoyed at home many things like bathrooms and other utilities of comfort makes it easier to please the guests.

Having a BBQ outside on a beach or in a park means that plans must be made to cater to all sorts of needs that might arise. It also means that the food to be grilled must be prepared and packed in a way that it stays good all the way to the grilling. Another very important thing to think about before taking off for an outdoor grill is safety. In many countries there are periods when grilling outside can only be done if certain restrictions are adhered to. Always check the rules for fires outside and in any case be prepared to put out one if it becomes necessary.

The most important is that grilling is a social event. Each group of friends will set their specific tone to the event. Prepare games and activities that are appropriate but don't be disappointed if the grilling takes on a completely different direction as people add their personal flavor to it.

Recipe of the Day

Barbecue Mushroom Brushcetta

This recipe is especially useful for mushroom that is at least 5cm (or 2 inches) in diameter and it needs to be an open mushroom. Furthermore, fresh field mushroom is required. To clean a mushroom, just give it a quick brush using a paper towel or clean tea towel. Please avoid rinsing it under the tap as mushroom will absorb the water and spoil the taste to the cooking.

It can be served as a starter just like any brushcetta based on bread or be part of the barbecue meal.

Serving Size

4 People (assuming 2 mushrooms per person)


1. 8 large field mushrooms brushed
2. 8 tspn of Aged Balsamic Vinegar
3. 16 Tspn of virgin olive oil
4. 1 whole red capsicum
5. 1 large onion sliced
6. A jar of Gourmet Chevre
7. 8 Tspn of Lemon infused extra virgin olive oil
8. Salt & pepper to season


1. Gently clean your mushroom by brushing it. Cut off the stalk but make sure you do not create a hole in the middle of the mushroom or puncture the mushroom in any form.

2. Brush the smooth face of the mushroom generous with olive oil and place it upside down on a plate.

3. Drizzle two table spoon of virgin olive oil onto each of the grill face side of the mushroom. Season it with salt and pepper.

4. Set it aside and prepared the red capsicum by roasting it over the BBQ store until the outside is fully charred. Place it immediately into a clean food storage bag to cool down. When it is cool enough to touch, peel of the charred skin, deseed and diced into small pieces.

5. Roast the onion on the BBQ plate until they are caramelized, chopped them into coarse pieces almost the same size as that of the roasted capsicum pieces.

6. Place each of the mushroom on the BBQ store ensuring that the grill side is always facing up (do not turn it over during the cooking process; you want to preserve all the juices in the mushroom).

7. Once cook, transfer them into a serving plate. Top the mushroom up with the prepared onion then the capsicum pieces.

8. Drizzle a spoonful of lemon infused extra virgin olive oil onto each mushroom follow by the balsamic vinegar.

9. Finally break the Gourmet Chevre into coarse pieces and place them on top of all the fillings on the mushroom and serve.

Note that if you don't intent to have a BBQ, you can use a fry pan for this purpose to cook the mushroom. You will also need to roast the capsicum in your grill be careful not to cause a fire.
About the Author
Patrick Tang is the author of this article. His passion for good quality gourmet food and gifts has driven him to setup Fabulously Gourmet for the Australian Community.
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