While beef jerky may not be the first thing to come to mind when seeking the ideal romantic gift this coming Valentine’s Day, there are a lot of men who may find dried beef more appealing that assorted chocolates. In fact, many jerky products today contain added sugar to make them sweeter.
In fact, this year, Jack Links is seeking encourage “lovers feed their wild sides with a red heart-shaped box (covered in ‘Sasquatch fur’) with a 1.25 oz bag of premium cut Jack Link’s Original Beef Jerky inside, claimed to “to satisfy your partner’s appetite, while leaving you with plenty of energy to get things going this Valentine’s Day.”
For those who may have heard the term jerky, (a modern corruption of the Incan work Ch’arki (to burn meat), but aren’t sure what it actually is, jerky is basically lean beef that has been trimmed of fat, cut into strips, and then dried and salted to prevent bacteria from spoiling it. Used today mostly as a ready to eat snack, beef jerky can be stored for months without refrigeration, making it ideal for emergency rations and a good addition to any “disaster kit.”
Most 30 g portions of fresh jerky is said to contain 10-15 g of protein, 1 g of fat, and 0-3 g of carbohydrates, however because of the curing process, some brands may contain upwards if 600 mg of salt, which needs to be taken into consideration for those with sodium dietary concerns.
It should also be noted that a number of products currently being sold as jerky are made up of “highly processed, chopped and formed meat, rather than traditional sliced, whole-muscle meat, making them higher in fat and moisture than older recipes.