Ch'arki (Quechua for dried, salted meat, Hispanicized spellings charque, charqui, charquí) is a dried salted meat product. Andean charqui, made in Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile, is from alpaca, llama or alpaca-llama cross-breeds. Peru is the world's largest producer with approximately 450 tons produced per year. Brazilian charqui is made from beef.
The manufacture of charqui principally consists of salting and sun-drying. In some regions, such as in Puno, the meat is sliced before drying; in others, like Cusco, the meat is dried from whole bone-in carcass pieces, known as 'charqui completo'.
When encountered by the Spanish, the Inca Empire supplied tampu (inns) along the Inca road system with llama ch'arki for travelers. The Inca used a freeze drying process that took advantage of their cold dry mountain air and strong sun.
- Teofilo Laime Ajacopa, Diccionario Bilingüe Iskay simipi yuyayk'ancha, La Paz, 2007 (Quechua-Spanish dictionary)
- Salvá, Bettit K.; Fernández-Diez, Ana; Ramos, Daphne D.; Caro, Irma; Mateo, Javier (January 2012). "Chemical composition of alpaca (Vicugna pacos) charqui". Food Chemistry. 130 (2): 329–334. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2011.07.046.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-07-01. Retrieved 2012-03-29.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
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