Why do we call dried meat “jerky”? The word is derived from the Quechua word Chariqui, which is also spelled charki. Quechua is a native American language that is primarily spoken in the Andes of South American of today. I have seen different translations of the word, but ,the basic definition of the word is meant to describe preserved meat or “jerky”. The technique was extremely important when discovered, as there was no other means to preserve meat which was essential for survival.
The first businesses developed to actually dry meat for resale were referred to as charquedas and where established in Uruguay, Peru and Brazil. Since the discovery of the “Charki” process, cultures from all over the world have used the technique with their own recipes with the same goal in mind, which is to kill pathogens and to dry it to a water activity level low enough to preserve the meat strips and make them safe to eat.
Preservation length of jerky is measured in shelf life. The shelf life assigned to our jerky products by an independent laboratory was more than a year. I personally have eaten our jerky that we have stashed away that was well over two years old and it had the same flavor, texture, color and odor as the products that you order from us. Rest assured we do not keep product for more than a month before you get it. So when you get it the product is very fresh.
The “Charquedas” industry has grown from a million dollar a year industry of just 20 years ago to an almost a billion dollar industry. People love their charki especially from a quality “charquedas” like The Lights Jerky Company.