So much news and feature writing these days is about current events. As someone who works in the media, I sometimes long for a nice thoughtful piece about the mundane, an examination into everyday things that pass under your nose (or into your mouth) but otherwise whose history escapes notice. You know those books that are called “The History of Everyday Things”? Those are great books. I love learning more about the paper clip, for example.
So what’s my point? Well, I have to tell you I was tickled to see this delightful little ode to one of my favorite foods of all time: Beef Jerky. It’s going to sound sexist, but I was surprised to see that this paean to dry meat was penned by a woman. I know I know, don’t get all fussy with me. Women like jerky, too. But it’s just always seemed like a cowboy thing to eat, like they do in Brokeback Mountain (no “I can’t quit you” jokes, please).
Anyway, we learn a lot of interesting stuff here. For example, did you know the “salted meat snack” industry generated more than $300 million in sales in the last year? That’s a lot of dessicated flesh. Of course you knew that jerky was given to us by the Indians, but died you know that one of its earliest forms, pemmican, consisted of dried meat mashed up with animal fat and berries? I thought not. All this talk about jerky is making me hungry, so go to the piece and give it a read, and excuse me while I head out to the local store to pick up a bag.