Monday, July 30, 2007

Beef Jerky

I can’t honestly say that I’ve been on a lifelong search for the perfect beef jerky. I can say I like beef jerky and from time to time have wondered whether I’m getting the best available, especially (as an article I recently saw notes) when it is treated like a poor country relation that gets sold alongside corndogs and transmission fluid at gas stations.

But there it was the other day featured in the august New York Times, “For Epicures, a New Take on Jerky.” I was interested.

Serious research had been done. A list of producers and purveyors of top-of-the-line beef jerky was right in front of me. Topping the list was Aggie Jerky, the result of a scientific investigation conducted by the E.M. “Manny” Rosenthal Meat Science and Technology Center at Texas A&M University.

They point out that Aggie Jerky is pulled off the muscle, not ground up and reconstituted. In addition, it is sliced with the grain (makes it more chewy), then marinated in a salty brine for a week before being peppered and smoked for three days with hickory sawdust smoke. Sounds good to me, thought I.

Within minutes I was online looking for the Manny Rosenthal retail store. It took a while, but I found it and sent an email winging through the ether, asking them to send me a half-pound. That was Wednesday. On Friday my little box from Texas arrived at the door. And I must say, Aggie Jerky is really spectacular. A culinary breakthrough of scientific proportions. Or as the jerky expert says, “Curled husks that look like bark harvested from a magical meat tree.”

Check it out.


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