As long as mankind has been hunting and fishing, jerky has been in existence. By cutting meat into long, thin strips then salting and drying it, humans were able to preserve their catch to tide them over barren winters or sustain them on long treks. Sadly, this once lean, protein-rich staple went the way of the mastodon, and developed into the salty, fatty, super-tough, additive-laden junk food found at quickie marts and truck stops.
That is, until Krave Jerky.
Leave it to John Sebastiani, a native Sonoman, athlete and member of a family steeped in the traditions and production of good food and wine to reinvigorate a stale market. Inspired by the house-made beef jerky sticks made at Angelo's Deli in Schellville, Sebastiani and partner Yens Hoj have developed new recipes and methods for making gourmet jerky.
"We wanted to do for beef jerky what Ben and Jerry's did for ice cream," says Sebastiani, a lean, fit man of 40. "We're athletes, and we believe in the idea of snacking on healthy food that is protein-rich, low in fat and builds muscle, strength and endurance." The sliced whole meat (all their pork and beef is sourced in California) and natural seasonings boast great nutritional content. The jerky is 97 percent fat-free, contains no trans fats, and is high in iron, zinc, B vitamins and vitamin E.
In addition to being healthy and delicious, the array of flavors and the moist, soft texture of Krave jerky distinguishes it from any other on the market. A dual-marinating and drying process retains much more moisture than standard jerky, avoiding the chewy, cardboard texture of other products. And, this being Sonoma County, consumers can naturally pair it with wine. From the sweet pineapple-orange beef and smoky grilled teriyaki pork to the savory lemon-garlic turkey and chili-lime beef, the flavors progress from mild to more peppery. Blasts of flavor and heat peak in intensity with curry beef, honey chipotle beef and garlic chili pepper beef.
Krave comes in three-ounce packages, trim enough to slide into a stocking, or can be ordered as a sample pack of five flavors chosen by the buyer. Better yet, join or give the gift of the "Jerky of the Month Club," and five packages of Krave will be delivered to the door each month for $25. Krave is widely available at chain and independent markets throughout northern California, and is distributed nationwide and sold online.
Krave Jerky, 117 W. Napa St., Ste. C, Sonoma. 707.939.9176.