Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Beef Jerky!

One of my students, Johana, has added another word to my "made-in-the-USA" list: jerky!  She sees this snack a lot and was not so familiar with the product until coming here.

Ancient cultures around the world developed various methods of drying meat to preserve it.  A Google search reveals that although the first people to use the "jerky" method, were the Incas in South America, today the companies creating and packaging jerky are all located in the US.

Per Wikipedia, this preserved meat "originated in the Andes mountains in what is modern day Peru and the word "jerky" derives from the Quechua word ch'arki which means "dried, salted meat".  Of course were eating alpacas, llamas and similar animals rather than beef.

The Spanish conquistadores took the process back to Europe with them, spreading the creation of similar products.

When settlers came to North America, they found Native Americans eating a similar product, called pemmican, made from  berries, fat, and ground meat mixed. They formed it into disks and bars.  The pictures online remind me of granola trail mix bars.

So now you know one word in both English and the ancient Inca language.

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