Ethnic grilling trends are gaining popularity and spilling into the realm of home cooks via cooking shows, magazines and recipe books. With so many new international grilling influences to inspire us, there’s no way grilling will become boring this year unless you fail to learn how to differentiate your churrasco from your hibachi. Use this hastily prepared and ill researched glossary to help you stay in the know about summer’s most popular international grilling trends:
• Brazillian: Churrasco is the word used to described grilled meat in Brazil; however, it seems to also be used to reference the act of grilling itself. The picanha – a sirloin-style cut of beef – is the signature item cooked on a churrasco. Brazillian barbecued meals often use a spit (rodizio) to cook and serve a variety of meats. Unlike a North American rotisserie, these spits don’t turn. Instead they are cooked more like large kebobs suspended over coals.
• Japanese: Cast iron hibachi grills are compact charcoal fueled devices used to make sukyaki and other classic Japanese preparations. If you play Cooking Mama, then you know that they also need to be fanned occasionally to keep the fire burning evenly. Because hibachi are small and the grates are close to the coals, Japanese barbecuing most often entails cooking small items such as kebobs that take only a few minutes to cook through.
• Florentine: the cornerstone of Tuscan barbecue is a bistecca alla Florentine which is a porterhouse-style steak that’s grilled over very hot charcoal embers until the outside is well-charred but the inside is still rare. For authenticity, purists say the steak must be cut from Italian Chianina beef. As you can see above, the wood fired grate used to cook bistecca alla Florentine doesn’t have to be outdoors.
• Argentine: in Argentina, the barbecue is called an Asado and it’s used to cook not just beef and chicken but also chorizo sausage and variety meats such as chitterlings and sweetbreads. The sauce of choice for grilled meats of all kinds in Argentina is chimichurri.