Feature

7 bizarre beef jerky spin-offs

The American penchant for making meat portable has taken some interesting turns in recent years. Here, some of the oddest

Is standard beef jerky just not exhilarating enough? Yes, say the New York-based creators of Perky Jerky, the world’s first caffeinated meat snack. Each one-ounce bite, they say, delivers as much "invigoration" as a small cup coffee. Of course, this isn't America's first alternate meat-snack. Here, 6 of the deliberately tough rivals that Perky Jerky will face in the "weird jerky" product aisle:

1. Cheese jerky: Snack Patrol’s Cheese Jerky infuses “award-winning” chunks of cheese with shredded premium beef. Also known as "a lactose-intolerant vegetarian’s worst nightmare."

2. Alcoholic jerky: "Driving while under the influence of jerky" may become a sadly common infraction if Timberline Smokehouse’s meat-booze combos — “Beer and Fire,” “Sweet Bourbon & Honey Pepper,” and “Tequila Jalapeno” — take off.

3. Ominously ambiguous jerky: An 8-ounce bag of "hand-sliced" Sasquatch Jerky by Jerky.com can be yours for only $499.99. Rumor has it that Sasquatch Jerky is just beef mixed with a spicy dash of marketing cyncism.

4. Clam jerky: Over time, jerky producers have embraced other protein sources — from turkey to ostrich, from emu to alligator — to intrigue those bored by beef. None of these products actively stinks, however, like Tengu’s “soft style” clam jerky, a Japanese delicacy imbued with a “strong fishy” smell and a decidedly clammy flavor.

5. Networking-friendly jerky: A company called Meatcards will transform a slab of dehydrated meat into a useable business card. Though these laser-etched cards aren’t designed for human consumption, no one ever said Americans are sensible.

6. Supermodel jerky: Only one thing distinguishes Elizabeth Hurley Organic Beef Jerky from ordinary beef jerky. It is produced from Hurley's "own herd of rare breed Gloucester cattle." The actress/model credits her svelte body to a strict diet of vodka and beef jerky, which raise troubling questions about the dangers of raising cattle tipsily.

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