Jerky Even a Vegetarian Could Love
When I first heard about pineapple jerky, I assumed that it was fruit flavored dried meat like the Fruit Juice Roasted Pork strip in the photo at the right. Strangely, Aji Ichiban in NYC (at least last time I checked) only sell candy while in Hong Kong there are entire bins of plastic-wrapped jerky squares sold by weight. Chinese are kind of nuts for jerky; there's a whole dried meat chain called Bee Cheng Hiang.
So, when I was offered free samples of pineapple jerky from Jerky.com, I'll admit that I was expecting pliable sheets or beef or pork. As it turned out, pineapple jerky is fancy fruit leather, duh. I don't mind those sugary gelatinized dried pineapple rings you usually find in stores, but these dehydrated slices sweetened only with honey do taste more like real fruit.
Thin and a little chewy and tough, the texture is well, jerky-like. In the best way. Because I have a strange aversion to fresh fruit (ok, mostly to the boring apple/orange/banana triumvirate—cherries and berries aren't so bad) I could see these working as an afternoon snack when I get tired of the usual almonds, yogurt or wedge of Laughing Cow cheese. In the mean time, I need to work my way through that bag of Chinese jerky I bought in December. Jerky is preserved to last, right?