Food - Drink
The Unexpected Food Origin Of The Pirate Term 'Buccaneer'
By JESSIE MOLLOY
When Europeans arrived in the Caribbean and South America, they saw native people slow-roasting seasoned meat over open fires. The Spanish called this "barbacoa," which in English became "barbecue," while the French used the term "boucan," and dubbed the cooks "boucaniers" or buccaneers.
Sailors of that age were sustained on a diet of simple, hard bread, rum, beer, ale, and dried, roasted meats, and they would often resupply at local ports. The boucaniers, who were originally people stranded in the Caribbean, made a living by selling roasted and dried meats and animal hides to those sailors.
After a while, many of these chefs realized the ships they were selling to were trading vessels and treasure ships. They decided that raiding them was more profitable than selling barbecue, and it wasn't long before the friendly Caribbean boucaniers became the fearsome buccaneers we all know today.