jerk-off

From several sources recently, reports of the Great Northern Jerk-Off. No, nothing to do with masturbation; jerk-off here refers to a competition — like bake-off, a competition in food.

A story from the Vilas County WI News-Review of 3/4/14 (updated on 4/27) that begins:

Club 45 in Conover was full to the brim Feb. 15 for the 20th anniversary of the Great Northern Jerk-Off. The event raised $1,000 for Warm The Children.

There were 25 participants who provided 38 jerky entries trying to win the title of the Best Homemade Jerky in the North.

Ah, jerky.

The t-shirt for the event:

On jerky, from Wikipedia:

Jerky is lean meat that has been trimmed of fat, cut into strips, and then dried to prevent spoilage. Normally, this drying includes the addition of salt, to prevent bacteria from developing on the meat before sufficient moisture has been removed. The word “jerky” is derived from the Spanish word charqui which is in turn derived from the Incan Quechua word ch’arki. which means to burn (meat). All that is needed to produce basic “jerky” is a low-temperature drying method, and salt to inhibit bacterial growth.

Jerky is to be distinguished from jerk(ed) food — a very different thing (though apparently they share an etymology). Again, from Wikipedia:

Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice. Jerk seasoning is traditionally applied to pork and chicken. Modern recipes also apply jerk spice mixes to fish, shrimp, shellfish, beef, sausage, lamb, and tofu. Jerk seasoning principally relies upon two items: allspice (called “pimento” in Jamaica) and Scotch bonnet peppers. Other ingredients include cloves, cinnamon, scallions, nutmeg, thyme, garlic, and salt.

When I still cooked real food  at home, I was particularly fond of stir-fried jerk(ed) lamb

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