The beef jerky is actually the beef meat from which all the fats are removed by trimming and then this remaining meat is cut into strips. These strips are then dried to prevent them from spoilage. When the meat is being dried, the amount of moisture in it can cause bacteria to develop and spoil the meat; therefore, an amount of salt is added to it in order to prevent it from spoilage. The interesting thing about beef jerky is that you don’t need extra things to prepare it: all you need is some salt and some heat and it is prepared. It can last for months without a refrigerator.
As in the preparation process, we add lots of salt, the sodium level might be high in the snack but beef jerky is also rich in protein. The preparation of meat jerky is not a new phenomenon: centuries ago people used this method to preserve food for winter as well as to carry it to the distant lands, however, in modern days the trend of this food is continuously increasing and many well-known companies now offer this snack in packed form. While the traditional beef jerky only contains salt, the latest recipes of meat jerky being made by different companies are also available in different flavors like chili.
Here is a list of six interesting facts about beef jerky
- Invention and Purpose of Beef Jerky
As mentioned earlier, the recipe of meat jerky is not new: it is estimated that it was discovered in 1550 by the Quechua people. The reason behind its invention is obvious: as we all know that the necessity is the mother of invention, and man has this inherent capability to make something that he wants most. In previous times, there wasn’t any refrigerator, and people in most parts of the world depended mainly on hunting. The animals which were to be hunted came once or twice a year in flocks. So people used to hunt as many animals as they could.
This meant a treat, but the problem was how to secure the meat for winter when there would be no animals which can be hunted. Thus this recipe was developed. Another important purpose of meat jerky was to provide people food when they were traveling. They were constantly worried about the food on the way. Thus beef jerky was a good option.
The preparation of jerky isn’t restricted to any single animal; rather it can be made from pork, salmon, and many other animals. The way it is prepared also varies. The traditional way of preparing it is by removing all the fat and then converting the meat into little slices. Salt is then applied on these slices and then after drying it, it is ready. On the other hand, many commercial companies that are now preparing beef jerky use different techniques. For instance, some manufacturers grind the meat first and this meat is spread thinly in the form of flat shapes. There are other companies which use the traditional methods.
The addition of different spices in it is also a new phenomenon, as it is made more delicious by the addition of different spices. People can choose from different flavors. If you want to try different flavors of beef jerky, you can explore it and many other products on Groupon, which are available at discounted prices.
- Growing Industry
The industry of beef jerky is not a small one. You might be thinking that it is prepared only on a local basis because most people don’t know about it. But the fact is, it is a far bigger business than you can think of. The amount of money that this business involves is more than $2.5 billion only in the USA. It is noticed that the beef jerky companies are still growing.
Slim Jim is a very well-known company that supplies beef jerky all around the United States. In 2009, there was an explosion at the manufacturing facility and a shortage of beef jerky was seen nationwide.
- Wine Companion in Rome
The beef jerky not only developed in the American areas but also in Rome. Initially, the jerky was made with horse or donkey meat in the Rome. But, now it is usually made from pork. Different spices like red pepper and other chilies are added to the pork meat and finally, it is dried. If you get a chance to visit Rome, you will see many places where wine will be served along with beef jerky. In fact, people love eating it with wine.
- Lean Meat
Beef jerky is also considered lean meat and it contains a high amount of proteins. During the drying process, the meat loses two third of its original weight because all the moisture is removed during the drying process. The resulting meat is very lean but very rich in nutritional components. Another interesting thing is that you will eat a significant amount of meat jerky without even realizing it because it is a very light food.
- Space Food
The most interesting thing about beef jerky is that for different centuries it was considered a travel food, and it still is. Previously when any food resource wasn’t available on the way, people used to carry beef jerky with the, and today when we are trying to explore different corners of the world, and we send astronauts to space – knowing that there is no hotel on the way – giving them beef jerky to eat. This is an extraordinary and highly compelling parallel that we can draw from the ancient world and the latest space travels with the help of beef jerky.
This guest post is written by Joe Cole, he works at Coupon Goo.