Jerky is a popular snack enjoyed by adventurers of all kinds: hikers, astronauts and road trippers. But even if you aren’t scaling a mountain or planning a trip to the moon, you can enjoy this chewy meat treat anytime. Jerky comes in all flavors ‒ smoky, sweet, spicy ‒ and types ‒ beef, ostrich, even alligator.
1. The word “jerky” comes from the Quechua term charqui, meaning “to burn (meat).”
2. Types of meat “jerkied” include: bovine, pork, goat, mutton or lamb, deer, elk, caribou, kudu, springbok, kangaroo, bison, moose, turkey, ostrich, salmon, alligator, tuna, emu and horse.
3. Most fat must be removed from the meat before the jerky process can begin because fat won’t dry and can become rancid.
4. Many European Union countries currently prohibit the importing of meat products like jerky, requiring extensive customs documentation and inspections.
5. In Ethiopia jerky is known as qwant’a.
6. Astronauts have packed jerky for space flights since 1996, citing the snack’s high nutrition level and light weight.
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