JERKY WITH CHARACTER
"Hey yo! O.G. Hickory comin’!” You hear the words, grab your jerky stash from inside the gutter and ditch the corner as fast as possible. But it’s too late, O.G.’s comin’ down the block. He grabs you. “Hold up!” he says. “You got me wrong, son. I ain’t your enemy. It’s your bosses I got problems with.” He shakes you down for all you got. Plastic-textured jerky niblets. indigestible truck-stop meat-shards. sticks made with mechanically-separated chicken. The food-stuffs of a society bankrupt on taste. Whereas O.G. is the True North that guides the flavor game’s way. The backbone of the snack hustle. A wise ol’ G that always stays true to the game. “Slang this instead, bro,” he says, hooking you up with a couple bags of Righteous Felon. “Not for your boss, not for me, but for yourself, son. Some advice. Next time roll down the alley, you’d do well to keep your appetite unlawful.”
Habanero Escober leaned against a fence on his compound, smoking. A menial worker named Jose passed him an ice-cold Columbian lager. “I appreciate the cerveza, Jose. But it is your sombrero I’m wanting.”Jose grasped the hat with a protective hand and in a sheepish whisper replied: “Lo siento, Mr. Escobar. You see, my wife, she made me this sombrero and—”Suddenly, in a motion faster than desert lightning, Escobar pulled a pistol and blasted the Colombian cowboy straight off his mule. The sombrero swayed down—an autumn leaf—right into Escobar’s paws and he adjusted it onto his head. “No Jose,” he said, stamping out the cigarillo underfoot. “It is I who am sorry. And next time you want to talk, please . . . call me Habanero.” Habs. He’s a hot-headed compadre that will turn on you the moment you take your eyes off’m. Starts savory, but once things go south of the border, they get violently hot. You’ve been warned.
BABY BLUES BBQ
And now, a brief timeline in the life of folk flavor icon Baby Blues. May, 1963 - Baby pens pivotal songs for the Flavor Rights Movement.. April, 1965 - Baby creates Subterranean Homemade Jerky in his basement. Becomes first Top 40 Flavor. July, 1966 - Baby crashes motorbike while struggling to remove a RF Toob from his fanny-pack. January, 1976 - Baby distills a highly potent marinade called “BBQ Sweet Kick Sauce.” Pens infamous lyric: “It’s all over now / Baby Blues.”. October, 1979 - Baby goes from B.B.Q. to G.O.D. when converting to Christianity. Proclaims at Chicago concert: “I used to be a jerk. Now I’m a prophet.”. December, 1997 - Baby performs concert for Bill Clinton. Clinton famously says: “He probably had more impact on my generation than any other beef jerky.”
Be forewarned – within the four walls of this very bag you hold in your hands sleeps a monster. A flavor monster. The gastro-lovechild of two flavor revolutionists, both hailing from the fertile flavorlands of Downingtown, PA, and each of whom proclaims taste – and taste alone – as the keystone of the human experience. Legend has it this monster was conceived on a fateful beer-infused night at the local D-Town brewpub, when a drop of ale unknowingly found its way onto an unsuspecting slab of O.G. Hickory and knocked the socks off the tongues of all those who tasted it. Others maintain that the origin of Righteous Felon was craft beer itself, and thus Victorious B.I.G Jerky wasn’t created by Righteous Felon, but rather it created them. Whatever tale you believe to be true, if indeed you possess the courage to push forward and open this bag, you will surely awaken the flavor monster within. With that, its powers will be unchained and it will stop at nothing to instill within you the single virtue its parents bestowed upon it: whether it beer or whether it food, Flavor Always Favors the Bold.
Just a small-time fisherwoman from Maryland, Monroe made a splash in the roaring sixties by kicking in the teeth of the patriarchy and punching the tastebuds of the nation. She’s an icon, a rebel, and a taste-sensation with a spirit as fiery as a molotov cocktail, served straight up. Ask her for her autograph and you’ll get a paper-bag full of Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs, slow-cooked and jerkified in a marinade more fragrant than Chanel No 5. A major figure in the Flavor Rights Movement, Maryland is no stranger to controversy, caught dehydrating meat with Kennedy in ‘62 after serenading him with “Hickory Birthday, Mr. President.” When she’s not caught stealin’, or smuggling intel for the Flavor Revolution you can find her wiling away the hours at Roseda Beef in Monkton, Maryland. She’s a regular there. Haying the cows, tillin’ the field and dodging any grates that might attempt to upturn her dress.
Like a heat-seeking missile, spicy shredder Voodoo Chile always knows where to tickle the guitar strings. In ‘69 he sent a sonic-boom of fret hopping harmony onto one million fans at Jerkstock, wrapping a marinade-soaked bandana ‘round his forehead so he could hear flavor and taste sound throughout the performance. Voodoo, wizard of Righteous riffs and lawless licks, awaits induction into the Flavor Hall of Fame. Powered by the holy-water that is Voodoo Chile Hot Sauce and a tittle of toasted garlic to wipe the pain away, jammin’ with Voodoo is nothing less than a face-melting experience. Scalp yourself a pair of tickets before it’s too late, his inferno of a show usually sells out. Get in close, but beware the the front-row. Don’t wanna get singed. And keep in mind: backstage passes are reserved for the bold.
When the Union Pacific Railroad enlisted him to hunt bison for them, Bill thought of something better. A rider so experienced he put the “Wild” into “Wild West,” Truffle-O Bill cut his teeth hunting and gathering throughout the front-range. As a horseman, plainsman, and briefs-over-boxers man, Bill could track down just about ever’thing. Legend has it he could squeeze drops of water from a stone and pinpoint the far-off location of a buffalo from 2 ½ whiffs of its dung-pile. But his real talent was for rustling up black truffles. Once while picking a bushel of the flavorful fungi, a rattler—meaner and more poisonous than a mother-in-law—snapped its fangs into Bill’s arm! In his delirium, after decapitating the serpent and sucking out the venom himself, a recipe dawned on him, for the smoky, decadent, truffle-infused pocket steak we now call Truffle-O Bill. The most recognizable face in beef jerky, Bill is the high-plains-drifter that stokes a tingle in even the meekest of tongues. Once he’s saddled onto your tastebuds, he’ll be in your heart forever.
When the Founding Felons convened to sign the Constitution of the Flavor Revolution, one jerk and one jerk alone deigned to sign first. And nay, his name were not John Ham-Cock. I speak of course of Bourbon Franklin, a tasteful gentleman and fine patriot in matters of flavor freedom. Solid as brick, ye olde Franklin’s constitution is that of pure vanilla bean and the whiskey that flows from stills across the American plain, the smokies and the redwood forest. When the war began and the Empire of Truck-Stop jerky dubbed us ‘Felons,’ and refused to let us secede, who first loaded his musket? Aye, Bourbon Franklin it were, and Bourbon Franklin, with a smoky whiskey in one hand and a smoking barrel in the other, may it always be. With the Declaration of Marination signed in Philly itself, no other flavor in the Righteous roster embodies independence, patriotism and the American Vanilla Bean Dream quite like Franky-boy. Amazing Grace, the taste resounds.
Kid started out as another street pigeon, pickin’ pockets just to afford a loaf of bread to peck at. Fled to The Windy City in 1920 after a jerky deal gone awry left Capone with a scarred beak and warrant out for his arrest. Free as a bird, Fowl Capone got his talons dirty bootlegging turkey jerky to Chicago’s masses. Well, Felons of a feather racketeer together, and when Capone got
caught pushing product on Cartel turf, Righteous Felon took the gangster under their wing and helped him amass a Turkey Jerky Empire. Take one bite of Capone’s cocktail of lemony zing, crisp basil, and crackling pepper and you’ll be singin’ like a jailbird desperate for a plea deal. Though Capone did time behind bars in Philly, Atlanta, and finally became the poster-boy of Alcatraz, at heart, he’s a good egg: Cage-Free and All-Natural. This is one mob boss you don’t want to evade.
The offspring of a Romanian princess and the dark lord, Satan himself, Darth Garlic was baptized by fire ages prior to his tyrannical reign over Felonhendge. Before this world was even formed, in the times of olde, Darth Garlic slayed those that opposed him, condemning to death all with ignorant tongues for flavors fine, sending to the rack or iron maiden any man that dareth drink above his allotted thimble of mead. His heart is pure black garlic. His soul is cast from Black Angus Beef. When Bourbon Franklin and Habanero Escobar set aside their differences and joined forces to overthrow him—and in doing so formed The Felonious Fellowship—they struck him down and distilled his evil soul into the tenderest, tastiest biltong a horseback warrior can imagine: Righteous Felon’s Darth Garlic Biltong. Beware! For every chew opens another door for Darth to be reborn; and whatever thee choose to do, DO NOT SPEAKETH HIS NAME!
By the turn of the century, Ancho Villa had done it all. Led his soldiers to victory. Liberated his people. Served as governor. Been to Paris. But like all great flavors, Ancho carried on. Seeking one more high, craving another thrill. Then a succulent young whippersnapper with a taste for revolution sailed across the pond to meet him. The man called himself ManDilla, Nelson ManDilla. He proposed a joint venture funneled through the back-alley biltong market of South Africa to beat the Flavor Enforcement Agency and lay waste to all sub-par pocket steaks once and for all. So Ancho, bearing peppers of cayenne, chipotle, habanero, and of course his namesake ... ancho, became embroiled in THE CAPE TOWN CONNECTION. His biltong soft yet sizzling to the touch, sung of in folktale lyrics at the hands of mariachi bands. If you’ve got a taste for the fuego, step into Ancho Villa’s line of fire. Viva la Revolución!
After being incarcerated on trumped-up charges for over 20 years for demanding a higher-caliber biltong and inciting a culinary revolution, Nelson ManDilla became the figurehead of a movement. With a voice as silky as a stalk of dill, and words like a splash of red wine vinegar to rally his people, Nelson made the flavor establishment shudder in its boots. Shake a little peppercorn and garlic into the mix and you’ve got a candidate for President of the Better Biltong Committee. Join Nelson’s cause, and with it comes the promise of biltong, thinly-sliced and
delicately seasoned, by the hands of a patient visionary with one unifying dream: Fight the power—down with big biltong and mediocre meat! Give grassroots gastronomy its day in the sun, and the Boy from Transkei his turn at the braai! The winds of change have blown like gales upon the Cape of Good Hope. For to be free!