Charqui is a South American-style dried meat that is cut into strips, seasoned and exposed to the sun to be dried into – you guessed it — jerky! The word charqui is derived from the indigenous language of Quechua where slices of meat from cows, chickens and even llamas (the first jerky meat) are trimmed to dry.

Countries like Peru, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay created the first concept of charqui — also spelled charque or charki — by taking advantage of their climate and perfecting a kind of freeze-drying technique. Let’s thank our South American friends for introducing charqui (jerky) to us.

Use today’s Word of the Day: A Beef Jerky to Change the Food System