According to the New York Times, beef jerky is finally making its way into the ranks of the elite gourmet - reaffirming the pro-jerky stance that I have taken for years in spite of the mockery of my peers. While buying beef jerky at the gas station on road trips has long been a tradition in my family, I am thrilled to find that the fanciest foodies are taking the delicacy to a new level - using lean strips of top and bottom round or chuck, seasoned and then slowly smoked and dried using complements such as molasses, brown sugar, Cabernet Sauvingnon, garlic, and whiskey to name a few.
Actually, the article points out that beef jerky (as I've long suspected) is actually the perfect meat, it has zero fat, lots of protein, and low cholesterol. It dates back to at least the Incas, and the name "jerky" comes not from the cowboys of the Old West, but from the Quechua word “charqui.”
In Spain, the land of ham and all cured pork products, I have been getting my beef jerky fix for years with something called "cecina". Typically from the region of Leon, cecina is essentially fresh beef that for hundreds of years has been smoked and naturally dried. The inside is deep red with very little fat, and it goes splendidly thinly sliced on salads or alone and drizzled with olive oil.
To check out the Times article.