Bear-B-Q  LbNA # 57055

OwnerGhost of IRA Boxer    
Placed DateFeb 24 2011
LocationFort Parker State Park, Mexia, TX
Found By Walksfar
Last Found Apr 11 2015
Hike Distance?

Most people don’t know that the early Indians of East Texas invented Bar-B-Q. Actually, they called it Bear-B-Q because they used the meat of the black bear. The pronunciation of the dish was corrupted by Davy Crockett to B’ar-B-Q when he passed through the area on the way to the Alamo (“killed him a b’ar when he was only three”). The bear was plentiful in the early East Texas woods. Buffalo made better eating, but they were big and lived on the plains. Fox was plentiful, but they were much more clever than the bears (ever heard of a bear outsmarting a fox?...or outfoxing anything?), so they were harder to catch and there wasn’t as much meat on their bones. The Indians hunted the bear at first to make use of its skin to make rugs and clothing. They used the teeth to make necklaces and the claws, well, bear claws are another story. After using all the good parts, they didn’t want the meat to go to waste, so they tried eating it, but it was too tough. Even the dogs wouldn’t eat it. Food was hard to come by, so they experimented and discovered that if they cooked the bear meat slowly on a spit, for long enough, it would eventually become edible. By the time the settlers found out about the practice of making Bear-B-Q, all the bears had been eaten or chased back to Louisiana, so they had to use beef. Turns out, beef was much tastier than bear, anyway, and didn’t take so long to cook. That’s how Texas Bar-B-Q came to be and we have Texas Indians to thank, for inventing the cooking method and for eating all the bear.

During the TALE8 event, my Bear-B-Q was available on the bear-b-q pit, and it finally got tender enough to eat, so I moved it off the fire so you could enjoy it anytime you visit the park. I started at the cemetery where I had stopped to visit friends, then went down the Springfield Trail to the right (if you're facing the historical marker). I walked from the trail marker about 130 steps to the next yellow marker, then found one of those big oak trees off the trail to the left, about 30 feet. I put the bear meat behind that tree, protected by a big rock and with another smaller rock on top. By the time you get there, it should be well-seasoned. Bring your own beer.