I had been dimly aware that jerky, that chewy mainstay of convenience store and truck stop counters, was having its moment.
With all the foodie interest in cured and artisanal meat products, I guess it was inevitable that people, especially in the Western states, would start making better versions of jerky, with fewer chemicals, and truer meat taste.
Hunters make their own with elk and venison. Buffalo and turkey are popular, and there’s even salmon jerky. (Can pemmican be far behind?)
So I couldn’t resist taking the folks at Perky Jerky up on their offer of free samples of their caffeinated beef jerky, especially when I read the amusing story behind the product:
“The story, like most good stories, begins with two jerks in a ski lodge. After a long, hard night of energy-drink-cocktail-fueled libation, these jerks settled in while the winter storm raged outside. The next morning they awoke, loaded up their gear, and headed out to the mountain. Amongst this gear was an open bag of peppered beef jerky, which had, unfortunately been drenched in some of the energy drink that had been carelessly spilled the night before. On the first lift up, it made no difference: to these jerks, jerky was the only breakfast they needed, altered or not. Much to their delight, the jerky had retained it’s original flavor, but had been made more tender by the accident. What’s more, as they floated their way down the mountain through bottomless powder, they realized they’d been given an extra boost – the jerky had taken on some of the pep of the energy drink. On the next lift ride up, the greatest innovation in jerky since cracked pepper was born.”
(I wasn’t surprised to be told the ski lodge in the story was in Aspen, where I lived for many years.)
Perky Jerky contains the energy-enhancing herb guarana and has about 60 milligrams of caffeine per 1 ounce serving, about the same as an energy drink and, to my surprise, less than my morning mug of dark drip-brewed coffee. It also contains (in part), beef, soy sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, garlic powder, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. It is not at all the tough, overly salty, leather product of yore. Perky Jerky – what a hoot!