Saap operates pop-up events across Dallas, Fort Worth and their suburbs, usually at breweries such as Texas Ale Project, Community and Martin House. But its main business is something the family didn’t expect: beef jerky. The jerky line, which includes regular, “just right” spicy and “too hot for Lao mom” spicy meats, is so successful that making a new batch from scratch each week has become Saap’s primary focus.
Even at pop-up events, jerky plays a starring role. When Saap set up shop at Irving’s Lao New Year festival in early May, the family offered free samples of beef jerky while a grillmaster basted chicken wings and fat Lao sausages over charcoal. Taste the results and it will be clear why the jerky is a hit. The just right spicy version has a first taste of a sweet, sticky glaze that could be applied to barbecued pork ribs. Sesame oil works its flavor into the corner like a shy person in a group photo. Then, suddenly, the heat arrives like a lightning bolt, chile peppers stabbing and lingering long after the meat is chewed and gone.
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