The result is an eclectic mix of flavors that can send you straight into vacation mode.
Thai Beef Jerky
It’s unlikely to be the same beef jerky your grandpa shared with you, but Thai beef jerky is still delicious.
Traditionally, Thai beef jerky is a fried, sun-dried beef. The major difference from customary American beef jerky is that Thai jerky is dehydrated only briefly in the sun. This process also speaks to its more literal translation — “single sunlight beef.”
This cured, dried meat has origins across the southern part of the African continent, including South Africa.
People most commonly use beef for biltong, but you can also make it from various exotic meats. You really can’t go wrong with your protein of choice!
Biltong is usually air-dried for long periods of time. Jerky aficionados have described the texture as a middle ground between traditional beef jerky and Italian prosciutto.
Kilishi Beef Jerky
Also known as kilichi, kilishi is a spicy beef jerky from Nigeria. It’s traditionally sun-dried in intense heat for three days.
Because of its spicy flavor, most people can’t eat a whole bag — the heat is too much to handle. To make kilishi, strips of beef are cut sliver-thin and then seasoned with a mix of suya pepper, garlic, clove and a touch of salt. Some people like to add ginger and dried cayenne pepper seeds to pack even more punch.
Carne Seca Beef Jerky
Also referred to as Mexican beef jerky, carne seca is seen as more of a delicacy than the typical beef jerky found at most U.S. stores.
Carne seca is Spanish for “dried meat,” and you can find it easily in southwest America and northern Mexico. The ultra-thin meat strips are usually seasoned with salt and lime. However, like other beef jerky varieties, seasonings like peppers may certainly spice it up.
[Related: Best Types of Jerky: Beyond Beef]
Cecina Beef Jerky
Another type of Mexican beef jerky, cecina is considered an art form. It differs from carne seca in that it has a semi-hard texture and truly melts in the mouth.
Like other jerky, cecina originates from the need to preserve meat in a particular climate. The cecina-making process takes into account the desert heat and other adverse conditions in parts of Mexico.
Cecina beef jerky devotees eat it as a healthy snack or main dish, and some sprinkle it over soups and salads.
Pastirma brings us back to the Old World. You can still find this cured, air-dried beef in Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Egypt, Greece, Iraq and North Macedonia.
This type of jerky is essentially salted for preservation. The main ingredient can be meat or fish, and people in multiple parts of the world relish it.
Originating in China, bakkwa’s general preparation method has mostly remained the same, although the techniques have improved.
Traditionally, bakkwa is made of pork, beef or lamb. The meat is prepared with sugar, salt, soy sauce and other spices and then dehydrated on drying racks.
Bakkwa is a traditional treat for Chinese New Year celebrations. Many people prefer the softer texture that innovative processes have produced.
Sake Toba (Salmon Jerky)
Fishers catch salmon in the icy-cold freshwater of Japan. The Japanese name for salmon jerky is “sake toba,” and it has a long history in Japanese culture.
After being seasoned with salt and other spices, strips of salmon are dehydrated via a smoking process. This gives each bite of sake toba a rich, smoky taste that salmon lovers adore.
Pemmican Beef Jerky
Long before colonizers landed in the U.S., Native Americans were preserving meat in the form of pemmican.
Although similar to the beef jerky of today, it has a twist — pemmican is formed into small cakes composed of ground meat, animal fat and mixed berries.
The process also allows for a long shelf life that Native Americans relied on to preserve meats.
Find World-Inspired Beef Jerky Flavors at BeefJerky.com
We have fun and innovative flavors at BeefJerky.com, but we understand and respect the long global history of jerky.
Featured image via PxHere