So Mr. Adams started to tinker.
The details of how to exactly make a Slim Jim are not for the faint of heart.
“The Slim Jims start out as 60-pound frozen blocks of sliced meat labeled ‘beef head meat’, which come from the foreheads and cheeks of cattle,” The Times Magazine wrote after getting “a unique look. Inside a plant in Gardner, NC The meat is mixed with chicken, 30 spices and a “starter culture of lactic acid” before being “squirted into long envelopes of collagen,” reported the magazine.
The mixture is incubated for 17 hours at 85 degrees, which gives it a distinctive “bite”. The sausages, in 7,600-foot coils, are then rolled in smoker ovens and cooked for 20 hours, their flavor enhanced using an aerosol form of liquid smoke.
Ron Doggett, then managing director of Goodmark Foods, told the magazine: “You can beat them by carrying them in your pocket.”
Equally tough was the man who gave modern Slim Jim its distinctive flavor.
Alonzo Theodore Adams II was born in Davenport, Iowa on March 15, 1925. His father, Alonzo Theodore Adams I, was a postman; her mother, Florence Adams, was a housewife.
After a summer trip to Seattle with a high school pal, Adams enlisted in the military, serving in the 82nd Airborne Division, his daughter said.
While in Belgium at the Battle of the Bulge, Mr. Adams was shot in the face. “The bullet entered under one eye and came out the other side of his face just in front of his ear,” Ms. Harrington said. “It’s miraculous that he lived.”