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Peruvian combo plate: from lower left, clockwise: Cau-cau, rice, olluquito with ch'arki and chanfainita (diced beef lung with potatoes)

Ch'arki (Quechua for dried, salted meat,[1] hispanicized spellings charque, charqui, charquí) is a form of jerky common in South America made from dried and salted meat, originally llama, nowadays mostly beef. Llama is still widely used in Bolivia. This was a very popular way to preserve meat in Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay and Brazil. It was industrialized in charqueadas, also named saladeros (in Uruguay).

When encountered by the Spanish, the Inca Empire supplied tampu (inns) along the Inca road system with llama jerky so that travelers would have something to eat. The Inca used a freeze drying process that took advantage of both the cold dry mountain air and strong sun in their homeland.

The Quechua word ch'arki is the origin of the word jerky.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Teofilo Laime Ajacopa, Diccionario Bilingüe Iskay simipi yuyayk'ancha, La Paz, 2007 (Quechua-Spanish dictionary)
  2. ^
  3. ^