The History of Jerky
Although I am sure venison jerky recipes were created at around the same time, early native americans made jerky from buffalo meat to preserve the product. Even earlier accounts depict an ancient Inca tribe, the Quencha, who made jerky in the 1500’s. Since then, venison jerky recipes have been passed down and with newer ingredients, morphed into some of the products we see today. Many of us buy and make different variations of jerky to enjoy as a snack, but to those in the early days and even some people now with no access to refrigeration, preserving meat through the drying process is essential for survival. Not everyone can stop off at the local 7-11 for a bag of jerky. They had to invent ways to preserve the meat to extend its use.
Venison Jerky in Early America
When the new world was first discovered, Europeans seen the native americans creating a dried meat product that could be preserved or stored and eaten later. They called the dried meat pemmican which was a jerked meat they combined with dried fruit or animal fat. The natives demonstrated to the Europeans the process of cutting the meat into strips and the entire drying process. Using different flavor and spice combinations, they were able to create venison jerky recipes that appealed to their taste. It was touted as the snack of choice of settlers in early America.
As settlers began the move westward, venison jerky reached a large popularity due to the fact, the meats could be easily stored and preserved for long periods of time
Beef jerky and other variations including venison and even ostrich jerky are a vastly popular for snacking today.