Yesterday was Memorial Day in the United States, a national holiday on which we remember those who have died for our country. (For more on Memorial Day, see our Cultural English 86 lesson).
As in many countries, Americans have a love of cooking outdoors (not inside the house), especially grilling food over a gas or charcoal grill.
Because of this, many U.S. restaurants will advertise their menu items – typically meats such as chicken or steaks – as “grilled” or “barbecued,” which is when the food is cooked directly over a fire or a source of dry heat (see photo of my grilled bratwurst sausages from yesterday).
The food will often be served with grill marks, which are the dark lines made by the grill’s metal surface as the meat cooks.
Some people consider grilling or barbecuing to be an art, or at least something to take pride in (to feel proud of or good about) and to try to perfect (make without faults or flaws).
People can buy barbecue sauces or marinades (liquid to put the meat in for a period of time before cooking) from the store. You will find many different kinds of barbecue sauce in any grocery store.
Many people who grill or barbecue, however, create their own barbecue sauces, which are brushed (placed) onto the meat while it is cooking to give it flavor.
In addition to cooking traditional foods such as hamburgers, bratwursts, and hot dogs on a grill, people put many different kinds of food on skewers to cook.
Skewers are long, thin metal sticks on which you put small pieces of meat, seafood, and vegetables to cook over the grill, without the small pieces falling through the spaces on the grill.
Other people like to add a rotisserie to their grill, which allows them to put an entire chicken or large pieces of meat to cook over the grill, but that can also be turned easily so that all sides get cook evenly.
I prefer keeping things simple: a few sausages or pieces of chicken, grilled without any sauces or marinades. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!
P.S. For more about grilling, see our Daily English 829 – Having a Barbecue
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