UNITEDCONSERVATORY NEWS &NOTES WHAT IS BARBECUE, REALLY? Exploring America’s Favorite Cuisine
FROM THE DESK OF Christopher Scherer
Dear UCM Family,
We are excited to announce the start of our group classes for young children ages 3 and under, and 3-5 years old! Classes are offered in the morning and early afternoon times. Also, signups are still open for our summer camp on June 25-30. It’s sure to be an exciting time, so don’t miss it! An important note: lessons continue throughout the year, and once this semester ends on June 30, you will automatically be enrolled into the next semester, which begins on July 1. You will be receiving a new invoice and the payments will automatically continue. Also in this issue is a sonnet by Iman Malhi. She has been my student for about a year now, and has been progressing rapidly with her music. We hope to feature more of our talented students’ accomplishments and achievements. If your child has won an award, let us know so we can publish it and share with others!
If you’re like most Americans, you probably refer to your summer cookouts as barbecues. Despite this common shorthand, slapping some burgers and dogs on a scorching-hot grill doesn’t resemble actual barbecue at all. What “true” barbecue means varies from region to region, but at its core, barbecue is about cooking meat slowly over woodsmoke. Celebrated food author Michael Pollan explores the origin of this American cuisine in his book, “Cooked.” After years of research and hundreds of meals, he favors the definition of barbecue provided to him by an Alabama pitmaster named Sy Erskine: “The mystic communion of fire, smoke, and meat in the total absence of water.” When you begin researching different styles of barbecue, however, you realize that nearly everything else surrounding barbecue is a matter of debate. Barbecue, like the country that created it, is influenced by multiple nations and cultures. It exists in various forms across the country, particularly in the South, its spiritual homeland. Wherever you go, you’ll find pitmasters and eaters arguing over the merits of beef versus pork, vinegar versus tomato, and many other characteristics. While it would take countless hours to become a barbecue expert, familiarizing yourself with the major styles will certainly make you the voice of wisdom at your next summer get- together.
Let’s keep making music!
–Christopher Scherer Director
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