Barbecue sauce (also abbreviated BBQ sauce) is a flavoring sauce used as a marinade, basting (cooking) or topping for meat cooked in the barbecue cooking style, including pork or beef ribs and chicken. It is a ubiquitous condiment and is used on many other foods as well. Marination is the process of soaking foods in a seasoned, often acidic, liquid before cooking. The origin of the word alludes to the use of brine (aqua marina) in the pickling process, which led to the technique of adding flavor by immersion in liquid. The liquid in question, the 'marinade', can be either acidic (made with ingredients such as vinegar, lemon juice, or wine) or enzymatic (made with ingredients such as pineapple or papaya). In addition to these ingredients, a marinade often contains oils, herbs, and spices to further flavor the food items. The ingredients vary widely even within individual countries, but most include some variation on vinegar and/or tomato paste as a base, as well as liquid smoke, spices such as mustard and black pepper, and sweeteners such as sugar or molasses. The most common barbecue sauce in the United States is a commercialized Kansas City-style which uses tomato puree, corn syrup, molasses and vinegar and has a long shelf life. This style is less intense but similar to steak sauce, which is itself a direct relative of the ubiquitous British brown sauce. Other regional recipes elsewhere forgo the tomato sauce base in favor of a more penetrating vinegar-dominant marinade. **Wikipedia
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