KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The American Royal World Series of Barbeque kicked off Friday night at the Kansas Speedway. This year, 535 teams are competing in the Royal, which is the world’s largest barbeque competition.

There are a lot of international teams competing this year as well. Many borrow smokers for the event because of the huge expense of shipping a large grill.

The teams come from all over; countries like England, Australia and New Zealand are represented. FOX4 also talked to one team from Japan that used umami — seaweed and mushroom powder — in their seasoning.

“Do they have a lot of barbecue in Japan? Or tell me about the difference between America and Japan when it comes to barbecue,” FOX4 asked.

“Meat size. Meat size. Japan barbecue — very small. Small meats. American barbecue — brisket, pork butt — very big meat, yeah,” said Tamio Shimojo, pitmaster for Shogun Japan Barbeque Association.

FOX4 also spoke to a team from Finland.

“We are honored to be here because it’s hard to get here in the invitational. And, of course, we’re a bit of the underdog when you have a look at the rigs and stuff like that,” said Riku Naskali, pitmaster for Smoking Finns.

They said they try to stick with the traditional flavors, especially because the taste of lingonberries is really challenging to pair with barbeque.

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