Did many southern troops in the US army know how to slaugher hogs and cattle to make BBQ in WW1&2 in europe? Could they do it better than?
their cooks who may not have been from the south?
- ?Lv 72 months ago
Andrew is correct. Also especially during WW1 the majority of American troops no matter what part of the country they were from were farm boys. At the time each farmer would kill their own hogs and if they were lucky enough to own a meat cow they would know how to slaughter and butcher that too. But think about barbecuing, to barbecue it takes hours to cook the meat, while tending a fire that is putting out a great deal of smoke, this is not something you want to do in a combat zone.
During WW2 when American troops were in the field they mostly lived on K rations and C rations.
- AndrewLv 72 months ago
Traditional Southern style barbecue calls for choice cuts of meat - if you're thinking of the Deep South it was traditionally almost exclusively pork. North Americans are often ignorant of the fact that up until the First World War, the word "meat" was essentially synonymous with "pork." And while it seems strange today that Americans and Canadians don't share the same affinity for lamb and mutton as the rest of the English-speaking world, that's largely because poor cuts of lamb and mutton were the most common meat ingredient in a soldier's chow during World War I, so most of the enlisted men were more than content to never taste lamb or mutton again after their return home. Britain and Ireland and New Zealand raise far more sheep than they do cattle, and most of the cattle they do raise are dedicated to dairy farming, they're not raised for meat. The United States and Australia are large, fairly temperate countries, so they have many more cattle per capita than other English-speaking countries, but beef was prohibitively expensive for the average person in either country until much more recently.
Secondly, the "barbecue" style of cuisine that's prevalent in the American South, Southwest, and Midwest is a very particular kind of cooking. In modern English the word "barbecue" has come to mean the same thing as 'grilled." But there's a world of difference between barbecuing meat and grilling meat. Real barbecue requires a fairly intense preparation process, the details of which vary with the particulars of that specific style. Some cuts of meat are smoked prior to being barbecued, and others are marinated prior to being cooked, but neither of those methods are conducive to battlefield conditions.
To properly "barbecue" enough meat to feed even a modest number of soldiers would require a great deal of time and effort, not to mention that the ingredients needed would likely not be available in large quantities. The wide majority of foodstuffs were reserved for the people at home due to the fact that much of the production had been devoted to the war effort. Most of the chow was pre-processed and prepared and packaged so that it could be distributed to the men for ease of consumption. Taste was not a high priority.
All of this is not to mention that the field hospitals and kitchens were often situated far from the front for obvious reasons. Most of the chow was brought in by horse drawn cart. A kitchen belching smoke would have made for a very inviting aiming point for artillerymen, so there was no cooking near the lines. And with heaps of dead and foul lavatories crowding the lines, it would have been extremely unsanitary.
Were there instances of small groups of soldiers slaughtering livestock and tucking in to some fresh meat here and there? Of course. French patrols behind their own lines could obviously do things like that. On occasion they might have even implored a local farmer to gift them a bottle of wine as well, but there's nothing glamorous about butchering a cow or a bull in a muddy field and roasting meat as bullets whizz past your head.
While the image of a gang of good 'ol Yankee boys from the South having themselves a cookout might seem feasible in theory, anyone with even an elementary understanding of the conditions would be able to see in an instant how ridiculous that sounds.
- Anonymous2 months ago
The US army in WW1 and 2 all fought together troops from the north and south.
And when you are fighting a war you don't get a lot of time to slaughter hogs and cattle to make a BBQ.