Sonny Boy Jerky represents what Texas meant to my dad when he first came to America from the Philippines. The homemade recipe comes from a place of warmth, love, and hope, and the bold flavors in each bite tell the whole story.
His jerky didn't just happen overnight. Texas is known for long Southern drawls, an obsession with football, delicious food, and my traditional Filipino dad grew to love everything the Lone Star State stood for. He particularly loved the spices, which graced everything from barbeque to tacos to that quintessential cowboy favorite, jerky–"The spicier, the better," he'd say. But after trying out numerous beef jerky brands, he didn't feel like there was a jerky out there that truly hit the spot.
So my dad decided to try to make it for himself.
Jerky was the first dish that my dad ever learned how to make. It became his signature dish, his pride and joy, and his own personal homage to Texas–with just a slight touch of Asian influence.
I remember when Sonny Boy Jerky started off as one man creating something unique and delicious for his family. Some people say that nothing brings people closer together than food, and I learned that first-hand while growing up and watching my dad make his jerky.
The spices were so wonderfully strong, that the scent of them would emanate from the room where my dad was cooking.
As a kid, I could almost taste the deliciousness in the air. My dad would jokingly refer to his jerky as “family time bait”; the anticipation and promise of delectable homemade jerky would lure each and every family member from whatever they were doing. We’d gather around my dad and watch and marvel at his skill and creativity.
The family would share my dad’s jerky with our friends and acquaintances–usually we’d give it as a gift during the Christmas season. Everyone we knew loved the spicy kick, texture, and quality of my dad’s premium jerky.
When people would rave about the jerky, we thought they were just being nice and polite.
After all, we thought, jerky was jerky...right? But over time, the demand grew–people were offering to pay for batches throughout the year, or were asking if we could please ship out of state. And that’s when I realized that we had something truly special to offer.
And so this southern treat is dedicated to my father, Sonny Boy Fernandez: the glue that holds our family together, and the creator of a lifetime of happy, well-fed memories. I know that when you try Sonny Boy Jerky, you’ll get the whole story with each savory bite.