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Long before the advent of electric meat smokers the word barbeque that means so much to modern Americans was already in use. This word that has become so popular to Americans came from the language of the native inhabitants of the Caribbean. They cleverly used a rack erected over a smoking fire and this method of preparing and preserving fish they called ‘barbacoa’. These resourceful people also discovered that the smoke got rid of annoying and unhealthy flies as their fish dried out over the fire. However, many cultures of the world discovered the benefits of smoke in driving away that pest of all pests during preserving – flies. Nowadays, we are fortunate to have electric meat smokers to make our busy lives a lot easier.
One of the most popular dishes of Jewish cuisine is brisket -- in fact it could be called the signature dish of Jewish cuisine. The Jewish communities that arrived from Europe during the second half of the nineteenth century brought their great skills as smokers of meat to America. Up until then their expertise at smoking meat had been done without the convenience of electric meat smokers. There are still a few smokers of meat who refuse to use an electric meat smoker even though the end result is exactly the same if not better than the old method. Without a doubt, the most famous of all their meat is ‘pastrami’ or smoked brisket. The word ‘pastrami’ is derived from a Yiddish word that is pronounced ‘pastromeh’.
The Jewish smokers of meat had their own special recipes for their pastrami. Many were well guarded family secrets and even became used by Jewish food businesses. The unique flavor of each recipe would depend on the spices and the type of wood used during the smoking process. This would remain exactly the same if an electric meat smoker was made use of. Pastrami done the Jewish way became so incredibly popular that even the old die-hard smokers of meat had to begin using electric meat smokers in order to keep up with demand. Their foresight in delivering an excellent product to an appreciative audience of consumers resulted in extremely successful businesses many of which were delis that have since become world famous.
It is interesting that the recipe of each smoker does seem to have its own variety of wood. This is not a surprising practice as the wood most certainly does impart a very specific flavor to the food the same as any other food flavoring. An electric meat smoker would fulfill exactly the same function as a natural wood. There are smokers of meat who choose to make use of fruitwoods and there are those who have a preference for hardwoods. It would be interesting to note that the wood variety also imparts its own unique fragrance to the food. Along with spices and an electric meat smoker the end result should be a delicious culinary experience each and every time.
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