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A barbecue is either a meal cooked outside over an open fire, or the grill or fireplace it is cooked on. Flavours are enhanced by basting the meat, fish or vegetables with marinades during cooking, or throwing aromatic woods onto the coals. The etymology of the word is vague: it may have come from the Spanish American barbacoa, meaning ‘a frame made of sticks’, or the French barbe à queue, ‘from beard to tail’, referring to the method of cooking the whole animal.