Quick Quiz - See if you can answer in 30 seconds or less: What’s a kosher
barbeque? If your answer is, “It’s a barbeque, just like any other barbeque, except that they barbeque kosher meat, and all the other food is strictly kosher as well” -- well clearly you haven’t yet heard of the ASBEE World Kosher BBQ Championship.
The event held Memphis, Tennessee, has been held every year now for over two decades. The “ASBEE” part of the title of this event stands for Anshei Sphard – Beth El Emeth, the synagogue that organized it and lays claim to the title of “the oldest Jewish Orthodox congregation in the mid-South.”
According to its website, the synagogue happens to be located in “a city where treif BBQ restaurants far outnumber synagogues,” the annual competition was created as “an alternative to the long-standing Memphis BBQ contest of the swine variety.” The site further proudly states that in 2010, “the festival hosted 40 teams and over 3000 attendees.”
Now that we’ve mentioned teams, we should explain that contest rules call for a team of judges who award 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place titles to the teams serving up the best beef brisket, the best beef ribs, and the best beans – and we haven’t even mentioned that there’s also pickle-eating contest; and, of course, since it’s a festival, there are a lot of fun activities such as a balloon artist and a petting zoo for the kiddies.
It sounds like a lot of fun, but if Memphis is too far away for you to join in, maybe this idea might inspire you to organize your own festive kosher BBQ. Of course, unless you’re already familiar with this aspect of the art of kosher cooking you’ll need to learn how to barbeque kosher meat. It’s not difficult, it just takes a little practice.
Delicious sauces and marinades go hand-in-hand with the barbeque process, and you’ll find dozens of kosher recipes for them in cookbooks or on the Internet.