GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Each year on May 16th we celebrate National Barbecue Day. It’s not just a delicious way to prepare food all over America, BBQ is also a staple food right here in North Carolina.

Barbequing can be traced back as far as 29,000 B.C., with humans grilling mammoth meat in a four-foot-long cooking pit. By 1921, Thomas Edison had designed the first commercial charcoal briquet factory.

Although the concept of barbequing did not originate in America, it’s become an essential part of American culture today. Barbequing in the U.S. goes back to colonial times when BBQ celebrations broke out all over the country after the victory in the Revolutionary War.

Did you know, that George Washington’s diary is said to have mentioned a three-day-long barbeque event?!

Wondering how to celebrate? Host a barbecue for family and friends in your own backyard. You can even throw a BBQ eating competition. Whether at home or at a restaurant, it can get messy but it will definitely be fun. Try a new recipe, experiment with a new barbecue sauce for your steaks and burgers. Who knows, you might even find your new favorite style of BBQ.

Fun Facts:

  • The longest barbecue ever held was hosted in Georgia, and lasted up to 80 hours.
  • Around 85% of people prefer grilling burgers at barbecues as their favorite grilling food.
  • The largest barbecue in Mexico had over 45,000 attendees.
  • In the state of Alabama, BBQ is available at 8.27% of restaurants.
  • According to accounts, the word barbecue comes from the Caribbean, first appearing in print in a Spanish explorer’s account of a West Indies tribe called the Taino in 1526 whose word for grilling on a raised wooden grate was “barbacoa.”