Paul Schwennesen wants you to forget what you know about beef jerky.
Every week, Schwennesen and his team from Double Check Ranch in Winkelman bring pure grassfed beef to the folks of Arizona, setting up shop at the Phoenix Public Market, the Gilbert Farmers' Market, the St. Phillips Plaza Farmers' Market in Tucson and during some months of the year, the Wigwam Farm Market in Litchfield.
Recently, the ranch started marketing what Schwennesen calls "a cleaner, greener, simpler option" to the road trip staple that is beef jerky: tasty new Grassfed Beef Crisps, which are made naturally - seriously, just look at the ingredients list - and come in simple-but-strong flavors like Black Pepper and Red Chili.
We sat down with Schwennsen to ask a few questions about his new product:
Where'd the idea come from?
PS: The preparation actually comes from an original customer of ours. I tasted it and thought, `This is the way beef jerky's supposed to taste -- the fact that it's dry and actually tastes like beef." We're hoping to do to the world of jerky what Clif bar did for energy bars.
What makes these different than average beef jerky?
PS: Well, most beef jerky is really tough and coated in something sweet. If you look at the back of [our] package, we explain that the flavor comes from the meat, which is air-dried and free of chemicals or additives.
Where will the beef crisps be sold?
PS: Right now they're being sold online at BeefCrisps.com, the Phoenix Public Market and at the Tucson farmers' market. We have grandiose aspirations of making this a global phenomenon. We want to help support grassfed operations wherever these will be sold, whether it's at Whole Foods or the local gas station.
What other flavors you plan on producing?
PS: Right now we're staying simple with black pepper and red chili. The whole point is to stay simple and have it taste like beef.
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