National Craft Jerky Day is an annual holiday celebrated on November 27. Craft Jerky Day is celebrated in honor of good old homemade jerky, and the simple jerky recipes passed down from one generation to another. Jerky is any kind of dried, thinly sliced meat that can be eaten without further processing. Jerky can be made with a variety of proteins, from cow meat to horse meat, alligator, camel, or even crocodile! Whatever protein you love, Craft Jerky Day has no limits on creativity. Its origin dates back to the early 1550s.
History of National Craft Jerky Day
National Craft Jerky Day was created by the ‘Long Beach Jerky Co.’ The company was founded by Alex Naticchioni and Richie Beckman in 2013, but its legacy can be traced far beyond that. It all began with Albert Naticchioni, fondly called ‘Gramps,’ Alex’s grandfather. Albert made his own jerky and stuffed it into the stockings of family members during Christmas.
This holiday tradition morphed into a business idea decades later, when Alex and his friend Richie hit on the inspiration in their small Long Beach apartment one night. The duo decided to take Gramps’ old recipe and stay true to that while experimenting with other recipes. After several trial runs, Long Beach Jerky Co. took off. Their menu now includes jerky flavors such as ‘Gramps’ Original.’ ‘Buffalo Wing,’ ‘Cracked Black Pepper,’ and ‘Spicy Teriyaki.’
According to historians, jerky originated in the Andes Mountains of modern-day Peru. Jerky is any kind of lean meat that has been sliced into strips and dried. The word ‘jerky’ owes its origin to ‘ch’arki,’ a word from the Quechua language meaning ‘dried, salted meat.’ The earliest records of ch’arki date back to the 1550s. Jerky is usually prepared by salting thinly sliced meat parts and leaving them to dry under the sun, over a fire, or in an electric dehydrator. When the meat is completely dehydrated, it can be eaten without cooking. The salting process prevents the growth of bacteria, and if properly done, jerky can last for months without spoiling.
Modern manufactured jerky typically contains preservatives, fat and may even contain brown sugar for taste.
National Craft Jerky Day timeline
Evidence exists of the earliest records of ch’arki.
Jerky becomes a common protein source in pioneer America.
Long Beach Jerky Co. is founded by Alex Naticchioni and Richie Beckman.
Craft Jerky Day is proclaimed a national holiday
National Craft Jerky Day FAQs
What meat is jerky made from?
There are no cut-and-dried rules for making jerky. Any meat will suffice as long as it’s properly dried.
Is jerky smoked or dried?
Jerky can be smoked with fire or dried in an oven, with a dehydrator, or under the sun.
Why is jerky so expensive?
Jerky is expensive because of the cost of meat, quality ingredients, and the long process required to dry it.
How To Celebrate National Craft Jerky Day
Make your own jerky
Craft Jerky Day is all about small-batch, homemade recipes. Celebrate by making your very own unique jerky. Search for recipes online and make your own variations.
Support a craft jerky business
If you just can’t find time to make your own, support a small craft jerky business by purchasing jerky from them. Your support might go a long way.
Use the hashtag
Let everyone know why we’re celebrating by using the hashtag #craftjerkyday. Spread awareness!
5 Important Facts About The Weirdest Jerky Flavors
This weird jerky flavor is exactly what its name implies — it’s made from kangaroo meat!
You might not be brave enough to face one, but alligator jerky might just suit your palate.
The meat is spiced up with guarana, a plant ingredient that contains about twice as much caffeine as coffee.
These cheese sticks shot through with beef are perfect for all cheese lovers.
This special jerky is made from meat, soy sauce, Hawaiian salt, garlic, ginger, and pepper.
Why We Love National Craft Jerky Day
We love jerky because of its delicious taste. So it’s no wonder the delicacy has been passed down from generation to generation. All the way from the 16th century!
That homemade goodness
We love craft jerky because it has that touch of homemade goodness that just can’t be reproduced. Every family has their own special recipe, which is what makes craft jerky so unique.
Craft jerky is one of the few treats that’s simple yet perfect. All it contains is salt and meat, which buttresses the saying that “less is more.”
National Craft Jerky Day dates