It’s our favorite day of the year. Seriously… what could be better than a day dedicated to jerky? Nothing, in our humble opinion – though we might be a little biased.
While we know we don’t need an excuse to eat jerky, it sure is nice having one. So, go ahead – indulge in some delicious hickory-smoked meat this Jerky Day. We’ll be chowing down with you.
A Little Jerky History
In honor of National Jerky Day 2019, we’d like to start with a trip down memory lane. While jerky is ubiquitous in modern American society and has roots in ancient cultures around the world, its English linguistic roots stretch way back to the Inca empire in South America.
As early as 1550, the Quechua used meat from alpaca and llamas that was boned and de-fatted, pounded into thin strips and salted for preservation. This primitive jerky, called ch’arki, which means “to burn meat,” was then sun-dried or smoked.
As the Spanish conquistadors experienced ch’arki in South America, they adopted the practice and renamed it charqui. Upon invading the natives to the north, the conquistadors were surprised to see the Native Americans preparing buffalo, deer and elk in the same way.
In the native tongue of the North Americans, the Spanish “charqui” sounded like “jerky” – and the term jerky was born.
As explorers continued to expand across North America, jerky became a prized source of nutrition. Meat could be hunted when plentiful and then preserved for the leaner times in harsher climates. The utility of jerky brought about the introduction of other jerky meats, like goose, turkey and other wild game by pioneers and settlers.
But enough about jerky’s origins… It’s time to get to the main course – so to speak.
When Is National Jerky Day?
National Jerky Day 2019 is on June 12th, which falls on a Wednesday. While weekend holidays are usually preferable for festive celebrations, enjoying some tasty, moist jerky this National Jerky Day just might help you get over that mid-week hump.
Created in 2012, National Jerky Day is now celebrated by jerky-lovers across the nation. The holiday is meant to honor all that is jerky – and bring national awareness to the rich history, nutritional value and overall tastiness of jerky.
While National Jerky Day dates back less than a decade, jerky has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Whether you prefer your jerky hickory-smoked or dehydrated; sweet and spicy or peppered; beef, alligator, ostrich or yak; we can all agree that modern life is just better with jerky in it.
Perfect for long hikes in the mountains and overnight camping trips, days at the beach and long road trips with friends, jerky is the snack that fits any adventure. So, go on – get out there and celebrate National Jerky Day with your favorite jerky!
We definitely will.