Jerky Fun Facts....
- Jerky was first introduced by the South American (Peru) native tribe called the Quechua (originally part of the ancient Inca Empire) as early as 1550. The product was known as Ch'arki.
- The Indians and early settlers made jerky primarily from deer, elk or buffalo using salt (to prevent spoilage) and whatever spices they had. The meat was dried (cured) primarily in the sun. When the Spanish picked it up, the name eventually became known as Charqui.
- North American Pioneers further evolved the process. Folks who ate jerky were generally Explorers, Cowboys, and Native Americans. The simplest method for drying meat was to string it on ropes and then hang it on the outside of the wagon cover ("hang up method"). It would soak up the hot sun for two or three days until it was cured; then it was packed in bags and stored for future use.
- Today jerky is produced from thin strips of meat (beef, pork, lamb, venison, poultry, etc.) dehydrated and smoked via smokehouses, then vacuum-packed.
- Contrary to popular belief, beef jerky is actually a healthy snack. It is an excellent source of protein, low in fat and calories, and has minimal carbohydrates per serving. It is a no mess snack, great for lunches, hiking, camping, & those long trips when in need of a snack! Jerky also has a long shelf life when vacuum-sealed, which makes it perfect for family preparedness kits.