For all but one member of the FamilyTrivium household, our favorite barbecue is smoked brisket. If we eat barbecue, at least half of us will have it on our plates. There was a moment of apprehension, on the part of Mrs. FamilyTrivium, when we walked into Arthur Bryant’s and “brisket” wasn’t on the menu – Mr. FamilyTrivium quickly reassured her that the “beef” was the “brisket.” Was he right? Well, of course, but what exactly is brisket?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary succinctly defines brisket as “the breast or lower chest of a quadruped animal; also :  a cut of beef from the brisket.” dates the word to between 1300 and 1350 from Middle English “brusket” or Old Norse “brjōsk” cartilage.

While our brief research didn’t find a definitive claim that Texas is the birthplace of smoked brisket, an article on it’s history at TexasMonthly BBQ would have you think that it is. Texas does seem to be the home of smoked brisket with the generic word “barbecue” typically referring to this specific cut. Newspaper advertisements from as early as 1910 show smoked brisket being offered in Texas grocery stores catering to customers on a Kosher diet.

Brisket is number one on the FamilyTrivium household’s barbecue list. If you’re a barbecue fan, where does it rank for you? Feel free to share in the comments.