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Thursday 26th May 2016
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Why are they called "spare ribs"?


Why do we call the ribs we put on the barbeque “spare ribs”? Why not just ribs?
Ashley, Sydenham


** Definitive **
Name: Tim, Wimbledon
Qualification: Studied butchery as part of Home Economics
Answer: A rib is joined at two places, the backbone and the breastbone. We take the chop from the backbone, then the rest is known as the spare bit, hence “spare rib”.

Name: Frances, Putney
Qualification: Last-minute querier
Answer: It’s not spare ribs, it’s “spear ribs”, derived from the German, because they are cooked that way.

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