Last week I got invited along to the Scottish Speciality trade fair at the SECC to meet Brian Wilson, the man behind Scottish Jerky. Bobinson and Craig came along and we had a fine time wandering the isles while Brian was busy, everything from the finest Scottish fare to the tackiest tartan kiltie could be found if you looked.
The food hall was a wonder, rows of exhibitors with displays of wares to delight kitchen and rucksack alike.
We spotted that Brian was free and descended upon him. He had plates out with samples of all his flavours and any pretence of social etiquette went oot the windae as we snacked heartily and got the inside story.
Brian first tasted beef jerky on a road trip across Canada where it was sold from jars and handed over in a brown paper bag. He described (with the three of us nodding) the inescapable desire to stop for more once the bag was empty. He’d got it bad.
When he came home to North East Scotland he could only find some of the wee bags familiar to us in the american shop in Aberdeen and was frustrated at its rubbery saltiness compared to the fresh stuff he had tasted ocross the Atlantic. Such was his desire for quality savoury munchies that he soon formed a plan.
He did some market research, asking a friend “If I made jerky would you eat it?”, “I don’t know, what is it?” came the reply. Bouyed by this positve reaction he launched himself into nine long months of experimentation with process and flavouring until he walked out of his self induced beef armageddon with a product that he could be proud of, and more importantly pockets full of tasty jerky.
That was back in 2002 and since then then he has expanded his range of flavours and introduced venison jerky, also in various flavours.
It takes two whole days to prepare the meat, which is done from scratch, cutting the strips from the big chunk of coo, marinading and drying. Each flavour is done to personal taste not to generic marketplace expectation, and I think it shows. The jerky is much finer than the petrol station and supermarket packets, it melts in your mouth and the flavours are subtle and tasty. It has to be the most moreish snack on the planet. I carry jerky in my pack every trip and this is the best I’ve tried.
The nutritional value was discussed at length by Brian and Craig who know far more about such things than I (indeed the Scottish Jerky website has the info), but the message was clear; natural, no crap added and good for you. That’s enough for me.
And, you can try too. The first couple of comments that get posted with something amusing about beef in them get a packet of Scotlands finest, courtesy of www.scottishjerky.com