As more and more settlers started coming to the New World, jerky become an important protein source. Thanks to the American Indians that shared their secret to curing and cutting the meat into strips, jerky really helped sustain life to those settling the New World.
As encampments grew to towns and cities and ever expanding across the Eastern Seaboard, jerky was there to help keep them going when food was scarce and the weather did not allow for hunting. Because the jerky can be stored for months on end, it became valuable for the men that would start exploring the New World.
Lewis and Clark were said to have used jerky as their main meals on their 4600 mile trek across the United States. Much of their trip was through uncharted area so hunting for their food when they could was necessary as well as drying the meat to preserve it. Bison was one of the meats they ate the most and it was estimated that they ate about 9 pounds of dried meat also known as jerky, a day since there was not much other food available.
As more and more settlers started exploring the country, different forms of jerky remained a solid food item that was enjoyed by not only the Native Americans but by the traveler and explorer too. We will explore that in more detail with our next post.