The only thing we Brits love more than The Great Outdoors, is eating in it. As soon as the mercury begins to rise past a certain point, (we’ll take anything above freezing, thank you very much) the whole of the nation unanimously begins to fire up the coals. It’s BBQ time! It doesn’t matter where you choose to char-grill, just as long as you do.
Every BBQ begins with a trip to the supermarket. You’ll only pop in for a few sausages and maybe half a dozen burgers, but before you know it, you are speedily gathering anything that comes heavily branded as being ‘Perfect for BBQs!’ Then there’s the baps, buns, condiments and salads- by the time you’ve got to the till you could have spent less taking your entire street out for a 3-course slap-up lunch, at a Michelin-starred restaurant.
BBQs have a habit of making stereotypes out of us all. Even the most modern man will revert to something of a caveman when there is food to be cooked over a fire. Small children will zip about and around the open flames, like something out of the opening scenes of a hospital drama. Nana will look at the bit of halloumi you have offered her, as though it were a smoked baby turtle. She’ll complain about the sun and have to sit in the shade for most of it. Of course, that’s if it is sunny. The chances are a BBQ will be one person, forlornly holding a brolly over fizzing, lukewarm coals, whilst the rest of the family stares in from the dining room, giving thumbs up and asking “IS IT TIME TO EAT YET?”
Nowadays, BBQs can take place almost anywhere, in the garden, on the beach and even balconies. Visit any local park on a hot day, the place will be packed with friends gathering to cook enough food for 12 people over a £2.99 disposable tray option, that can barely accommodate a single quarter pounder. By the end of the summer most parks become a sea of unsightly scorch marks, but there’s no need to worry about a bit of charred grass. This is Britain after all! No sooner have we packed away our tongs and skewers before weather conditions return to sub-zero and it becomes too cold to eat anywhere that is not within the close proximity of a radiator.