We raise lots of beef here in the Southeast. Some of it finds its way into beef jerky, that very lean, always chewy and (usually) tangy dried protein-packed snack that is showing up everywhere.
Greenville Jerky Company beef jerky from Greenville, South Carolina
In downtown Greenville, there’s an entire store devoted to nothing but beef jerky. Ok, they do carry wine. And some jams and jellies. A few pickles. But the walls of the front half of Jerky & Vine are packed with beef jerky in an amazing assortment of flavors, all made from 100 percent Carolina-raised grass-fed beef. There’s “Carolina Red” made with those famously hot Carolina reaper peppers, “Steak in a Pouch” with its accompanying Blue Moon Steak Sauce from Spartanburg, “Peach Brandy Moonshine” jerky (made with peach moonshine from Dark Corners Distillery of Greenville), “Apple Maple Bourbon” jerky (made with bourbon from the same distillery) and more. Don’t tell them, but our favorite? The original! Their jerky is served at lots of Greenville craft breweries, but if you’re not headed to Greenville, get yours online.
$6.25 per $10.75 per 1.5 or 3-ounce package. Greenville Jerky & Vine, 36 South Main Street, Greenville. greenvillejerkyandvine.com/
Orchard Pond beef jerky from Tallahassee, Florida
We tend to think Florida is flat as a pancake, but the area north of Tallahassee is known as the Red Hills Region. Nestled in those gently rolling hills is Orchard Pond, the organic farm of the Phipps family. The Phipps started bottling their honey in 2011 (they sell that amazing tupelo honey that’s a prize commodity in that area of the world) and then branched out into pestos and granola. In addition to beekeeping and their organic garden, the farm prides itself on its humanely raised 100 percent grass-fed cattle. And now they’re offering beef jerky, made from that beef. We tried the Fresh Lemon and Cracked Pepper flavor, full of bright lemon notes we haven’t found in other brands of jerky.
$8 per 2-ounce package. Available online at orchardpond.com/.
White Oak Pastures grassfed beef jerky from Bluffton
The label on the package says “Blistering Bluffton” in little tiny type. You could miss that - but you just have to look at the slices of jerky with their very generous sprinkling of dried red pepper flakes to know this is going to be one hot jerky. White Oak Pastures raises grass-fed cattle (along with nine other species of animals) on its 3,000 acres around the community of Bluffton in southwest Georgia. They serve meals to farm employees and visitors in their on-farm restaurant, and when they’re not cooking for lunch and dinner, the cooks are making three varieties of beef jerky - Sweet Teriyaki, Blistering Bluffton and a gluten- and soy-free flavor.
$5.99 per 2-ounce package of Blistering Bluffton and Sweet Teriyaki, $6.99 per 2-ounce package of gluten- and soy-free. Available at the White Oak Pastures General Store, 202 Church Street, Bluffton, or online at whiteoakpastures.com/.