The sweet, sweet taste of swine flu irony: Pork jerky is surprisingly delicious

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Oberto, one of the nation's leading jerky producers, recently announced a new flavor: . Unfortunately, the release of this product coincided with swine flu outbreak that the 24-hour news cycle has metamorphosed into the end of the world. Needless to say, with newsreaders across the country foaming at the mouth about the impending Porkapocalypse, this is a rough time to debut a new pork delicacy.

Of course, as the experts keep endlessly repeating, it's impossible to get swine flu from eating pigs. Even so, thousands of consumers have deleted pork from their menus for the duration, and The Wall Street Journal has reported that hog prices have dropped almost 40 percent over the past week.
Needless to say, I had to give the new pork jerky a try. As a big fan of jerky, I've eaten a truly astounding amount of chewy, dehydrated flesh. I've had jerky made from cows, emus, buffalo, venison, boar, ostrich, oysters, salmon and even, on more than one occasion, cuttlefish. I once tried pork jerky from Jack Links, but had found it chewy, chemically-tinged and suffused with a hammy flavor that was disturbingly cloying. Even so, I've never turned down a jerky dare and was eager to dive into Oberto's new offering.

To be honest, it was pretty damn good. Oberto's beef jerky tends to be a little dry for my taste, but the pork was surprisingly tender. What's more, it didn't contain my least-favorite additive, high fructose corn syrup; in fact, almost all of the ingredients were things that I recognized, and the pineapple juice, brown sugar, and molasses lent the jerky a nice, natural sweetness. In fact, when I left an opened container sitting on a table, my wife and sister, neither of whom are big jerky eaters, quickly made short work of it.

Now, if we could only do something about that pesky swine flu epidemic...

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