Five great foods including Texas Aggie Beef Jerky from an article in today’s TAMUtimes! JWS
Over the years, researchers across Texas A&M and The Texas A&M University System have cultivated and fine-tuned countless varieties of grains, fruits, vegetables and meats. By focusing these projects on creating high-quality, efficient, economical and environmentally-sound products, Texas A&M has left its mark across the food industry, on everything from carrots to salsa. While there have been numerous foods created and developed by Aggie researchers, here’s a rundown of five of the tastiest.
It’s one of the newest Aggie-created foods and how sweet it is: for the first time ever this year, staff at Texas A&M’s new John G. Thomas Honey Bee Facility have produced the first summer crop of genuine Aggie Honey. The beehives were established in March near the 6,500 square-foot facility on Texas A&M’s Riverside Campus. “We had a good year here in College Station in terms of honey-making bee forage,” says Juliana Rangel, Texas A&M AgriLife Research assistant professor of apiculture at the facility. “There doesn’t seem to be a lot of beekeepers close to our apiary, so our bees were able to tap into all the local forage in the nearby land which is largely owned by A&M, so this honey is truly Aggie Honey, made by Aggie bees, foraging on Aggieland.”
Producing and selling Aggie Honey has been done in fun, says Rangel, but it has a far more important purpose: raising awareness of honey bees and the university’s honey bee research. “We want to make people across the state aware that we have a research facility that is working on honey bee health issues,” she adds. “We hope our Aggie Honey project will be a way the public can buy an excellent all-natural product while helping to support our research.”
Aggie Honey is being sold in the main office of the Department of Entomology (Heep Bldg. Room 412, 979-845-2516) and at the Rosenthal Meat Center on campus, with all proceeds going to directly help fund the honey bee research program. Learn more about the honey bee lab.
Texas Aggie Brand Beef Jerky
Since the 1980s, Texas A&M’s Rosenthal Meat Science & Technology Center in the Department of Animal Science has proudly produced Texas Aggie Brand Beef Jerky. First developed in Animal Science 307 labs, the jerky was a longtime favorite of Aggies for years. However, a visit from The New York Times changed that in 2007. After the paper named the beef jerky as its favorite in a double-blind taste test, the jerky suddenly had a national following.
What makes the beef jerky so special is that it’s still made the “old school” way, says Ray Riley, manager of the Rosenthal Center. “We do not accelerate any of our processing steps,” Riley explains. “Lean slices of beef round are cured for 7-10 days, sprinkled with tasty black pepper and hickory-smoked for 12-15 hours.”
Even though it has been several years since the jerky was featured in The New York Times, Riley says it’s still very popular — the Rosenthal Center receives orders and ships the jerky, which is sold by the half pound, across the United States. The jerky may be the most well-known product of the Rosenthal Meat Center, but it most certainly isn’t the only meat cured and smoked by Aggies. All types of beef, lamb, and pork cuts, a variety of sausages, snack sticks, sausage wraps, hams, and pre-cooked prime rib roasts are also available at Rosenthal.
Here are the remaining three foods and the original story: