"All persons held as slaves within any State...shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free..."Abraham Lincoln in the Emancipation Proclamation
Celebrate With The Holy Trinity Of Texas BBQ
Juneteenth, the longest running African-American holiday, is celebrated throughout the United States, and barbecue is central to the festivities. This holiday commemorates the date of June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, not only to inform enslaved peoples of their freedom but to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln two years earlier. As culinary historian Robert Moss explains in this article and in his book Barbecue: The History of an American Institution, Emancipation Day barbecues had been held at other times and in other parts of the country since abolition went into effect, but the Texas celebration date of June 19 has become the one that endured. While it's not yet a national holiday, 47 of the 50 United States recognize Juneteenth as a state or ceremonial holiday, and Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) has recently introduced a resolution in Congress to officially recognize "Juneteenth Independence Day" as a national holiday.
With or without national recognition, the holiday will be celebrated nationwide, and there will be barbecue, not least because barbecue is central to African American heritage. "Barbecue is as African as it is Native American and European," explains culinary historian Michael Twitty in this article and in his award-winning book The Cooking Gene. More and more black BBQ pitmasters are finally getting the recognition they deserve for their excellent barbecue, including one of this year's BBQ Hall of Fame inductees, Desiree Robinson, co-founder of Cozy Corner Restaurant, a barbecue mainstay in Memphis, Tennessee.
A Juneteenth barbecue menu could—and should—include whatever foods are most meaningful (and delicious!) to you. But since Juneteenth is historically rooted in the Lone Star State, we offer up a classic Texan BBQ menu, including the Holy Trinity of Texas BBQ: brisket, ribs, and sausage. To round out the plate, check out our recipes for Cowboy Candy (candied jalapenos), lean and vinegary cole slaw, pinto beans, potato salad, and mac and cheese.
However you choose to celebrate Juneteenth this year, we hope that the food, friends, and family at this cookout all come together to reaffirm the importance of this historic day in American history.