Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ode to Beef Jerky

Beef Jerky is one of those foods that is hard to make look appetizing in a photograph. Shoot, it looks far from appetizing in real life. Even nestled in a bed of bib lettuce, it just looks charred strips of leather. I used my creative licence as a writer in the above was the best I could do...but in no way does it do this particularly jerky justice.

A few weeks ago Chef and I received a package from friends in NYC. We had taken Jason and Lauren to lunch while we were there and in return they mailed us a thank you. Lauren and Jason are both artists, great artists actually. When she sent me an email requesting my address to send a little something, little did I know what she had in store for us. An entire box of beef jerky from China Town.

Over lunch that day in NYC at
Momofuku Noodle Bar the conversation somehow drifted onto the subject of beef jerky. Jason proclaimed that he is a connoisseur of beef jerky, and that he had in fact found the most delicious beef jerky in the world. Lauren, confirmed this with a recollection of how they devoured a pound of it in just days. Being that they are both from the South, Chef and I knew that they spoke the truth.

We concurred, we too love beef jerky. Me personally, I have always had a fascination with truckers and I hope I am not stereotyping when I write this, but jerky seems to be their snack of choice. Even when I was a vegetarian for seven years I would buy vegetarian beef jerky. There is something to the flavor...sodium...lots of it!

When I opened the box, I had to laugh. It was so perfect and unexpected. The jerky came in a variety of flavors, Fruit flavor, Spicy flavor, and Oyster flavor written in both English and Chinese. It came with instructions on how to care for the jerky, as well as a card that read
The Beef King. Let me tell you this is beef jerky like none other. The taste of each is subtle and delicate, and the best part of all you feel like you are eating beef. It was not puckered with salt, in fact the opposite. While it was definitely dried beef, you could still taste its juices. My mouth is watering just writing about it.

This little treat made me realize that I am missing something in my life. A food dehydrator. Dehydrating food is a great way to save foods from going bad, turning them into healthy delicious snacks. Perhaps I need to invest in one, but with every cupboard in our house packed to the nines with cookware, I am not sure if I have room for it. Perhaps it is time for a little clean out.


Kathryn said...

I'm in total agreement with you about how great beef jerky is! And I think it's totally worth it to purchase a food dehydrator. It saves you so much money in the long run since it's a lot cheaper to make your own jerky than to keep buying it. Plus you get to play around with your own flavors for it. Hope you'll update us if you decide to get one!

heather said...

hi nan! I got a food dehydrator for a wedding gift and i can't wait to use it. i don't know if i'll be brave enough to make my own beef jerky, but i do plan on making my own fruit leather snacks! those are my ultimate craving for a rubbery chewy snack. love you! heather