We had a bar-be-que at mine today. Like many, I like to enjoy a social occasion in the garden or down the beach, whenever the (ever more accommodating) British weather and other considerations allow. And I gotta say, there is something rather special about the tang of good BBQ food. You can't beat it! Anyhoo, while doing 'the man of the house' thing, I got to thinking...
Now, back in the day, whether as a kid or as a young adult globe-trotter, I would happily build a small fire with an ad-hoc grill and cook some pretty basic sounding grub, that would taste fantastic.
Whether on a sun-kissed beach, deep in the woods or a dank mountain-side, I and whoever I was with, would think nothing of putting in the effort for a cool social occasion, with great food. There was never any concern about the effort it took etc.
Today we threw some charcoal - 'optimised for the BBQ' - on a purpose made, 'optimum height' metal contraption. I then squirted some purpose made BBQ fluid over the charcoal and put a lighter to it. Shortly after we were serving up our first wave of food. Within a couple of hours we were clearing up just before the weather turned. Job done.
Now even that is too involved for some. Shell out a fair amount of money (compared with free) and you can buy what is really no more than a glorified gas cooker for the garden. Incredibly, the glorious tang of BBQ'd food is sacrificed in exchange for that convenience. Quicker, cleaner and that last crucial element sacrificed: people pay for that privilege. Some will even pay a premium for a hat-tip to good industrial design. Imagine that!