The history of jerky is a long one, and while there’s some debate over when the first jerky was made, one thing is certain: jerky’s packable, lightweight and shelf-stable qualities made it a practical protein choice for our nomadic ancestors.
For many of us, jerky had its place in the trail foods section of outdoor stores and on convenience store shelves. As a kid, I would pedal my bike to our local convenience store and dig through the bulk containers for the teriyaki and peppered flavored discs. This was followed by several minutes of gnawing. Never reaching a point where the meat was chewed, but rather concluding when the product could be swallowed.
Fortunately, my personal memory of jerky is atypical of the current offerings. Companies like KivaSun produce a bison jerky that is tender, moist, and flavorful and while jerky has forever been recognized for its backpacking-friendly characteristics, it’s equally bike-friendly.
KivaSun Bison Jerky is offered in two flavors, Hatch Chile and Original. While both were a tasty balance of salty and sweet, I preferred the hint of spice added by the Hatch chiles; not hot, just flavorful. I tucked the jerky in my frame bag on a recent, three day micro-tour. For only 3 ounces of weight I was carrying 24 grams of protein and some essential nutrients, like iron and vitamin A. Canned meats are about twice as heavy and need to be consumed in short order. Of course, if you expect any campsite critters cans are more animal proof.
While jerky is great for snacking on the move, it’s also fitting for a post-ride meal at camp. I chopped the jerky in small pieces and heated it with some parboiled brown rice, rehydrating the meat. The bison added flavor and was a very different tasting dish from the dried product. Add some veggies and you’ve got a camp stir fry.Tweet Print