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 Cowboys eat it

Because all the moisture remaining in jerky is bound up one way or another against bacteria, you can take a piece of jerky roll it around on the ground, just leave it for half an hour and its perfectly safe to eat.

Any pathogenic bacteria that may have contaminated it will die because jerky is a hostile environment for them. That's why you see those cowboys pull a hunk of unwrapped jerky out of their saddlebag and just start chewing, and they never get sick.

Spanish History

The name jerky is actually derived from the Spanish word, "charqui". During the days of ocean exploration and colonisation, the Spanish sailors would stock the islands in the pacific with goats, who would of course breed.

On subsequent or return journeys the sailors would call in and restock their meat supplies from these goats, what couldn't be eaten would be cut into strips and hung from the rigging of their ships and dried, this they called charqui.

American Indian History

When the Spanish Conquistadors invaded the America's naturally they carried their dried meat with them.

The natives of North America of course had been drying  meat since time immemorial, however when the invaders arrived and were seen to use a similar process, the natives adopted the Spanish term, only adding their accent, so it became jerky

It Tastes Great!

Today we don't depend on jerky for survival as they did in the past but we still eat it for many of the same reasons.

* Its tastes great.
*Its very filling and satisfying.
*It is extremely low in fat or sugar, so it makes an ideal healthy snack and diet food.
*Its lightweight and needs no special storage.

The one reason for eating jerky that I'm not sure the ancients were aware of though, and it's the one reason a lot of people eat it today. It goes really well with a beer.

So if you haven't enjoyed the experience of eating jerky yet, go out and get some you'll probably be surprised. If you tried it once but weren't too sure about it, go out and get some Billabong Jerky, you'll probably change your mind. If you already eat and enjoy jerky, good on you, but don't keep it a secret let the world know

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