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Always on the hunt for new Jerky, our friends at That Daily Deal have shared a link for an early access sale for New Zealand Premium Peppered Beef Jerky.

New Zealand Brand Premium Peppered Beef Jerky

New Zealand Brand Premium Peppered Beef Jerky

This stuff is described as grass-fed non-GMO and the prices are pretty good, and they get better if you order more.  Head on over and pick up a few bags.  We’ve ordered ours and will be posting a review as soon as they arrive.

Eat well!


Howdy there!  Today we’re reviewing an accidental adventure, the Artisanal Jerky Plate at The Greenhouse Tavern at The Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland, OH.

The Greenhouse Tavern's Artisanal Jerky Plate

The Greenhouse Tavern’s Artisanal Jerky Plate

This place is a hip and happenin’ downtown restaurant with an innovative menu, a clear focus on quality ingredients and inventive flavors, and simply fantastic service and atmosphere.  When we saw there jerky offering on the appetizer menu, an item prepared daily, we were so enthused we ordered TWO.  You know, for science.  And it was all the more exciting when the plates arrived with TWO different meaty treats to explore – meat sticks and jerky strips!  While all this makes for a fantastic dining experience, what does it mean for Jerkyology?  Can an ‘artisanal’ jerky appetizer deliver the goods?  Lets’s see what you get with this one:

Taste (B+):  This assortment of jerky offers an array of terrific flavors.  With the meat sticks you first get a wave of garlic and pepper, soon there’s a bit of clove, and after a bit maybe a hint of chili.  It bares a truly enjoyable sweetness and a just touch of heat with a slightly sour hint in there to boot.  The jerky strips are a quintessential dried beef – a simple beef flavor, with little added flavorings, delivering a quality clean beef taste.

Texture (A):  The meat sticks are soft and moist.  They have a firm bite and are easy to chew.  The jerky strips are also moist, but with a tougher bite.  The meat chews easily enough, though requiring a bit of effort, offering a really great tactile experience.

Smell (B+):  The sticks’ scent follow right along with their taste consisting mostly of a mild but flavorful garlic and a rich but well balanced smokiness.  There’s a hint of spice, maybe clove, too.  It’s smells really nice.  For the jerky strips it’s an exercise in simplicity.  You smell the delicious dried beef and nothing else.  It’s clean and genuinely appetizing.

Appearance (A+):  The sticks are light slightly redish-brown with an appetizing casing with texturing along its surface.  The strips are cut along grain and are a darkish brown with a slight bit of red inside.  The surface of the strips are have a slight sheen and the pieces look every bit the small-batch jerky they are.  Again, nice.

Consistency (A):  For both the sticks and strips the moisture level of the meats were exceptionally consistent throughout each piece, and from piece to piece.  Clearly there was great attention to ensuring their quality here.  The flavor too was predictably good from bite to bite and every bit of this plate’s offerings were as good as the others.  The level of control exhibited here was just fantastic.

Overall (A-):  The fine folks at the Greenhouse Tavern sure do serve up some tasty jerky!  The combination of the bold and complex flavors in the meat sticks is so fantastically complementary to the clean, essential flavor of the jerky strips.  Both excellent examples in their own right, together they deliver a wonderful range of tastiness.  Also, it’s important to note that the sweet brown sugar sauce drizzled on the plate added terrific dimension to the plate, too.  All in, this jerky plate was an experiential feast for the senses and is definitely worth checking out if you’re in their next of the woods.  Eat and enjoy!



For this round of Jerkyological evaluation we’re tearing into a bag of Golden Island All-Natural Chili Lime Beef Jerky procured from the Costco jerky assortment.

Golden Island All-Natural Chili Lime Beef Jerky

Golden Island All-Natural Chili Lime Beef Jerky

This, the third of three Golden Island “Epicurean Flavors”, is the last of the batch to receive a thorough Jerkyology review.  The previous two flavors – Kung Pao and Five Spice were definitely tasty, but the later had some issues with the edibility of the meat.  They’re all truly adventurous flavors that show a real love of jerky and do their part to add to the breadth of jerky experiences.  Chili Lime is a not-uncommon flavor, particularly in areas with strong Mexican food traditions, but doesn’t often turn out particularly well.  With the demonstrated skill we’ve seen from the fine folks at Golden Island in the past, does this jerky deliver on the promise of an exceptional treat?  Let’s see what you get with this one:

Taste (A):  First:  wow, they totally nailed it!  This is what Chili Lime is all about.  The lime flavor leads the charge and it is both deep and powerful.  This isn’t a ‘lime flavor’ added to the jerky but rather a real-deal full-on lime taste that leaves you looking for the peels.  The sweetness quickly follows, a clean and simple sugary goodness that wraps itself around the lime and makes it even more enjoyable.  Once your mouth takes all that in you get to the chili flavor.  Here again is excellence in execution.  The chili taste seems a bit additive at first, almost like a tag-along hanging around the edge of this mouth-party, but after a few moments the dance begins and it joins into the mix and delivers just the right bit of lingering heat that brings everything together.  It’s just fantastic and is possibly the best chili lime flavor we’ve ever seen in a jerky.  Ever.
Texture (A-):   This is a tender, moist jerky that bends and tears easily and is easy to chew.  The pieces is cut along the grain and has an almost tattered seeming surface.  It feels really nice.  Good stuff.
Smell (B+):  This jerky’s scent is all about the citrus.  The citrus smells – there are lemon and lime  at work – are balanced in a truly expert way.  The lemon scent stands out a bit above the lime, but together they offer up a wider range of nose notes.  After enjoying the citrus scents for a bit the sweetness starts to come through and, at times, evokes memories of Girl Scout cookies and other childhood joys.  It is an excellent complement to the flavor of this jerky and definitely does its part in the jerky experience.

Appearance (B+):  This jerky looks a bit rough at first, but once you have a few pieces and understand what you have you start seeing it for what it is and it looks pretty good.  The pieces are general pretty good sized, cut slightly thickly, with some nibble-sized bits mashed in the mix here and there.  They’re a darkish brown color with a red hue throughout and the surface has a ragged sort of texture.  There are tiny bits of chili and peppers scattered across the surface as well, adding visual interest.  All-in-all, it looks good.

Consistency (A-):    The flavor of this jerky is spot-on throughout the bag; the balance of the flavors and their overall intensity is expertly delivered.  The moisture, too, is delightfully consistent from bite to bite.  Importantly, given the tough time we had with the Five Spice flavor, the meat in this bag is cut with a nicely uniform thickness and there were only a few bits of gristle to be found.  This is an expertly made jerky.

Overall Impression (A-):  We have a winner!  This Chili Lime jerky is an absolute joy and a welcome departure from the usual assortment of jerky flavors.  The flavor is just fantastic, with depth and balance that point to genuine skill, and the pieces feel every bit like the quality beef they are.  Not everyone is going to go for the chili lime flavor itself, but if you’re at all a fan (or you just have the curiosity to give it a whirl) you’re going to love this stuff.  Grab a bag… grab several… and dig in.  Eat well!



Today’s object of interest is a big ol’ bag of Golden Island All-Natural Five Spice Beef Jerky from the jerky selection at the local Costco.

Golden Island All-Natural Five Spice Beef Jerky

Golden Island All-Natural Five Spice Beef Jerky

This is the second of three “Epicurean Flavors” from Golden Island to receive our Jerkyology attention, picked up at the local Costco.  While the variety of any type of item at Costco is, by design, pretty limited, their reputation for quality is well-known.  Golden Island makes a number of jerkies, generally tasty and of good quality, and this special selection of flavors appears to be available only online and through Costco.  For the curious, a typical “Asian Five Spice” is a combination of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Szechuan pepper, and cennel seeds, though recipes may contain a variety of alternative ingredients like tumaric and ginger.  The important thing though is just how good this Five Spice jerky is.  Challenge accepted.  Let’s see what you get with this one:

Taste (B+):  This is a tasty jerky.  The flavor is predominantly a sweet one with a nice “Asian” flair.  You’ll notice a well-balance saltiness and the familiar notes of soy sauce that add breadth to this jerky’s taste.  There’s a tiny bit of spice in there too, though difficult to make out on its own, that adds some character overall without drawing any real attention to itself.  The mix is, taken all together, a great one.  Piece to piece it is pleasant and appetizing.
Texture (B):  In general, this jerky is a moderately tender and slightly moist jerky.  The meat is cut along the grain, at a bit of an angle, and has a ragged and tattered surface.  It tears easily and is nicely chewable… if you take a bite without any gristle.

Smell (C+):  The scent of this jerky is okay, but not particularly remarkable.  It has a surprisingly weak aroma considering the strength of its flavor and making out anything specific from what you can smell is a challenge.  This isn’t bad by any stretch, but it doesn’t add much to the overall experience.  So while the generally nondescript scent doesn’t offer anything of note it doesn’t offend in any way.

Appearance (B+):  This jerky looks pretty good once you get used to it.  The pieces are medium to largish in size, though there are a fun number of crumbs to be found.  They are a dark brown color with a ragged surface that looks at first like a coating of seasonings but with some scrutiny turns out to be tattered bits of the meat itself.  It’s a very distinctive look.

Consistency (C-):  While it is clear that a great deal of attention went into crafting an enjoyable and high-quality treat, this particular jerky has some consistency challenges.  First, there is an exceptional amount of gristle in the bag.  More than just bits of fat here and there – something you’d generally expect, particularly in higher quality jerkies made with minimal processing – this jerky had dozens of pieces that you just couldn’t eat.  After the fist few unsuccessful bites you end up eyeing the next piece with suspicion and end up trying to visual week out the disagreeable bits by hand.  It’s more than a bit distracting.  The pieces themselves are cut thickly and are generally substantial, but again not reliably so.  A sizable portion of the bag has pieces 2-3 times as thick as the norm and their moisture content varies from dry-but-tender to nearly-desiccated and ‘old’ feeling.  The flavoring too suffers from lackluster execution.  While the majority of the bag delivers the sweet and tasty five spice flavor well, it’s a slight majority.  Easily a third of the jerky in the bag had either a very weak flavor or a flavor that seemed out of balance with the norm.  Overall this inconsistency of the meat itself, its thickness and moisture, and flavor really take a toll on the appeal of this jerky.

Overall Impression (C+):  This is so nearly a great jerky.  The flavor is good and the meat enjoyable, but with the significant inconsistencies in the jerky itself the quality suffers greatly and it really diminishes its appeal.  The folks at Golden Island have the makings of something great, but for now at least it’s merely “okay”.  If you’re willing to wade though the tough bits and can overlook the variability of execution from piece to piece, it really is a tasty jerky and there’s still something there to enjoy.  Be brave and try a bag – maybe you’ll have better luck than we did.  Eat well!



Today we’re tearing into of a bag of Golden Island All-Natural Kung Pao Beef Jerky procured at the local Costco.

Golden Island All-Natural Kung Pao Beef Jerky

Golden Island All-Natural Kung Pao Beef Jerky

Costco’s jerky selection is usually pretty limited, often only carrying one or two ‘interesting’ flavors at any given time.  Still, while the variety isn’t great the quality of the jerky they stock is usually pretty good.  If there’s any adventure to be had from Costco’s selection it is usually from Golden Island.  On a recent trek we picked up THREE previously unfamiliar Golden Island flavors and, given the “triple crown of HOT” description, this is clearly the one that had to be tried first.  So is this jerky a tasty treat?  Let’s see what you get with this one:
Taste (B+):  Hot is subjective, but this one will probably tick the box for most folks.  There’s a flavor race when you take your first bite with a rush of sweetness flanked on all sides but a tongue-flailing spicy kick.  The baseline taste seems more that of a traditional “Asian” flavoring through the pairing of a simple sugary soy sauce combination with some additional savory spices through in to great effect.  Riding atop that flavor is a double-punch of hotness.  They used chili sauce, chili powder, a bit of turmeric and some paprika to give this jerky a decided kick, and it does the job nicely.  It’s a really enjoyable burn.  Not overwhelming by any means, but definitely something that grabs your attention and lingers for a while on your palate.  Still, these two flavor profiles don’t really play together – the effect is like eating two different jerkys at the same time.  The complement each other well enough but they are persistently distinct from beginning to end.

Texture (A):  This jerky is tender and moist and tears easily.  While cut along the grain, the pieces’ have a slightly rough, almost ragged looking surface that feels a bit fluffy, for lack of a better word, as you take your bite.  It is, initially, a bit unfamiliar but the effect is a pleasant one and you quickly acclimate to it.  In practice it almost seems a clever way to up the surface area of the jerky so it can accommodate more flavor.

Smell (B+):  The first thing you smell is a sweet and soy scent that is really quite appetizing.  With a few more whiffs you start to make out a bit of the tang from the chili flakes / pepper / powder.  It’s a distinctly Asian-style scent that nicely foretells of the great flavor that follows.

Appearance (A):  The pieces are generally medium to largish in size, easily providing a few or more healthy bites each, and are a dark brown color with inviting red hues throughout.  It also sports a substantial coating of visible red pepper and other spicy bits, a warning sign of the heat it brings to your mouth.  All together it has a distinct appearance that is both attention-getting and appetizing.

Consistency (B+):  This jerky has been made with a clear attention to the execution of flavor.  Each bite, big or small, brings the same sweet and savory flavor with an escalating heat.  The moisture level, too, is consistent throughout, demonstrating great control in the jerky making process.  The one area where this jerky falls a bit short is in the meat itself.  While the meat definitely seems to be of good quality, there were too many pieces with inedible bits of gristle.  While it would generally not be that noteworthy to have one or two bites with these unappetizing inclusions in a bag of this size, there were numerous pieces compromised in this way.  Some of the gristle was small and easily discarded while other pieces were large and invasive enough to abandon the bite or the large piece altogether.  This is by no means enough of a distraction to dull the joy of this jerky but it does diminish its otherwise excellent execution.

Overall Impression (B+):  This is a great jerky!  It’s tasty, fun, and delivers a really compelling kick in the tongue with a spicy heat that’s full on flavor rather than gratuitous pain.  The Golden Island folks truly do make great jerky and their Kung Pao Beef Jerky is a great example of their skill.  If you enjoy sweet and savory heat then this jerky will likely find a happy place in your world.  Pick up a bag and give it a whirl, but don’t forget to keep that beverage handy.  Eat well!


Howdy there!

The focus of today’s Jerkyological assessment is a bag of Trader Joe’s Natural Original Beef Jerky, picked up at one of the Trader Joe’s in Silicon Valley.

Trader Joe's Natural Original Beef Jerky

Trader Joe’s Natural Original Beef Jerky

Trader Joe’s is known for its healthy choices and straightforward fare from meats to fresh product to a wide variety of snacks and side dishes, it’s a fun place to shop and explore.  That they have jerky is not surprising given how nutritious and wholesome jerky can be.  Still, given the broad focus of Trader Joe’s selection will their jerky prove a gem in the rough or something a bit less interesting?  Let’s see what you get with this one:

Taste (C+):  This is foremost a sweet and slightly tangy jerky.  The sugary flavor stands well above the soy sauce and apple cider vinegar flavors with a lingering bit of smokiness trailing off somewhere indistinct.  It’s a pleasant flavor, but not a particularly interesting one.  If you’re interested in a simple, straightforwardly sweet bit of jerky then you’ll probably be thrilled, otherwise it’ll likely land a bit on the forgettable side of the experience.

Texture (C+):  The jerky is slightly moist and pliable.  It’s cut across the grain and is easy to tear or bite.  While eating the jerky is easy and generally enjoyable, it is just a bit drier than it seems it should be.  As a result the meat seems to shred up unexpectedly as you chomp, with pieces staying connected at times when it seems like they should be separating.  Not unpleasant at all, but not particularly remarkable either.

Smell (C):  The scent of this jerky is all about the soy sauce, which smells nice… still, there’s very little else in the smell.  Again, nice but unremarkable.

Appearance (B):  This is a attractive jerky.  The pieces are cut to varying sizes, ranging from a small bites to a couple of inches to a side,and have generally straight cut edges paired with natural sides.  The jerky is cut a bit thick and has a dark brown color with a hint of red here and there.  It has a somewhat dry looking exterior and there’s a bit of marbling here and there.  They look appetizing and are one of the better aspects of this jerky.

Consistency (B):  This is a reasonably well-made jerky.  The taste, while not particularly remarkable, is true from bite to bite throughout the bag.  The moisture level of the meat is a bit variable, though not distracting at all.  The thickness of the jerky is very consistent throughout the bag and the jerky looks well made.

Overall Impression (C+):  You often wonder if the notion of ‘healthy’ food often suggests something less flavorful and there’s cause to wonder if that’s what has happened here.  The jerky is unremarkable in any way, but it is still tasty and enjoyable overall.  As an opportunistic purchase you’ll doubtlessly be pleased, but it isn’t something that you’d make a special trip for.  All told, it’s a nice and simple bit of meaty treatness that you’ll probably not think twice about after polishing off the bag.  If you find yourself opening up your own bag after your next trek to Trader Joe’s you’ll surely enjoy it, but you’ll probably not crave another any time soon.  Eat well!



In service to our meaty intent, today we’re tearing into a package of Sugar River Original Beef Sticks Ends and Pieces purchased at the local Cabelas.

Sugar River Original Beef Sticks

Sugar River Original Beef Sticks

Weighing in at a whopping two pounds, this vacuum packed snack block definitely commands attention.  Like the Beef and Pork Sticks Ends and Pieces previously reviewed, this is a LOT of meat.  It’s pork-inclusive counterpart was reasonably tasty so there’s cause to be optimistic that this tempting jumble of beef stick bits will prove to be a treat of worth.  Does its size foretell of its delicious goodness?  Let’s see what you get with this one:

Taste (C+):  These meaty bits have a pleasantly savory flavor that starts with a pretty equal balanced between salt and smoke tastes and is then accompanied by a bit of sweetness.  It’s pretty enjoyable, but not particularly great.  After a few bites you start to make out some of the other tastes – a touch of pepper, some garlic – but they’re just barely discernible.  After a bit the taste starts to suffer a bit from the exceptionally greasy nature of the meat.  Your tongue gets thoroughly coated pretty quickly and the overall flavor suffers for it.  So, while tasty, it ultimately doesn’t excel.  Still, you’ll still enjoy it.

Texture (C+):  These stick bits are fun to eat.  The casing is slightly crisp, but not at all distracting.  The meat itself is tender and generally pleasant to chew.  They’re good, but not particularly remarkable.

Smell (C):  While these beef bits don’t smell badly, they don’t smell especially appetizing either.  There’s a somewhat greasy smell to these bits… clearly discernible but not overpowering.  There’s some smoky meat scent in there too, but it is meaningfully diminished by the greasy scents.  In the end, it’s okay, but that’s about it.

Appearance (C+):  For a pack of ‘end and pieces’ the meat bits looks pretty good.  The dark reddish-brown color of the casing looks tasty enough, and the pieces are generally enjoyably bite-sized.  The cuts, while running at all sorts of angles, are clean and straight and look well made.  Like it’s pork-inclusive counterpart though, there’s a slightly gooey coating of grease that seems to have been expressed from the meat during the vacuum packing process.  It’s everywhere – coating every piece of meat on every surface and spread throughout the inside of the packaging.  It’s messy enough that you should have some napkins handy and plan to thorough wash your hands when you’re done.

Consistency (B-):  Bite to bite these sausage bits are remarkably consistent.  Again, given that this is a bag of ends and pieces you wouldn’t necessarily expect great consistency in the package, but the meat’s moisture and texture don’t deviate much as you snack your way through the lot and both bigger and smaller pieces offer a predictable taste and feel throughout.  It’s well made and really does exhibit quality at its core.

Overall Impression (C+):  This is a snack that’d be a great companion on a camping or hunting trip or, given the quantity, perhaps as a casual snack for visitors and the like.  It’s a thoroughly enjoyable, albeit messy, treat with a nice flavor that’s enjoyable to eat.  Odds are you’ll enjoy these beef ends and pieces from Sugar River so picking up a bag the next time you’re rummaging around your local Cabelas.  Enjoy!



Today we’re tearing into a bag of Texas Best Smokehouse Beef Stix purchased at their outstanding store in Italy, Texas.

Texas Best Smokehouse Beef Stix

Texas Best Smokehouse Beef Stix

No stranger to this veritable shrine to dried meats, the Beef Stix are just one of many tasty treats arrayed to tempt the visitor.  Unlike sausage-style sticks, these “Stix” are strips of regular beef so the temptation to see how they stack up to the veritable cornucopia of other meats offered at the smokehouse was simply too great to refuse.  Just how tasty are these narrow strip of beefy goodness?  Let’s see what you get with this one:

Taste (A):  Straight up, this jerky’s taste is fantastic!  Foremost you taste a solidly delivered black pepper kick.  It’s strong, and enjoyably so, and pairs up with the beef itself in an outstanding fashion.  There’s also a pronounced garlic flavor accompanied by a low-key brown sugar sweetness that seem to chime in with the pepper in a way that takes the whole well beyond the sum of the parts.  It’s an outstandingly tasty and yet deceptively simple flavor.

Texture (A):  While this natural-style jerky is only slightly moist it is quite pliable and easy to tear.  The bites start of slowly requiring a bit of effort to really dig into the beef, but it quickly softens up to really let the flavor out.  The pieces are cut along the grain and can be torn by hand easily enough.  The feel of this jerky in your mouth though is really something special.  It’s substantial and tough while also quickly soft and tender.  You get the whole gamut of feels from this jerky and it’s just really fun to eat.

Smell (B):  This jerky projects a relatively low-key scent, primarily conveying garlic and hints of black pepper.  It’s dry enough that there’s just not a lot of scent going on there, but what you do smell is still pretty pleasing, all told.

Appearance (A):  This jerky is natural-cut along the grain into long strips, or “Stix”.  These Stix are several inches long and generally around a half-inch wide.  Cut relatively thin, the meat has a dark reddish-brown hue and very, very slight sheen.  The meat itself looks to be of excellent quality and is really eye-candy in its own right.  Simply stated, the folks at Texas Best Smokehouse make a find looking jerky.

Consistency (A+):  These sticks are clearly the work of folks with deep expertise and zealous attention to detail.  The moisture of each piece was indistinguishable from one another, always maintaining that exceptional dry yet pliable feel.  The taste, similarly, was fantastically good from the first bite to the last with the pepper and garlicky sweetness steady throughout.   This jerky is simply outstandingly made and is a real testament to the skill of the folks at Texas Best Smokehouse.

Overall Impression (A):  This is an exceptionally good jerky.  The flavor is delicious, it feels like joy in your mouth, and you have real sense of the quality and care that went into making it with every bite.  This is the good stuff and if you’re a fan of peppery jerky this one will doubtless be a quick favorite.  If you make your way into the Texas Best Smokehouse you can rest assured that selecting their Beef Stix is a choice you’ll definitely feel good about on your way out of the store.  Swing on by Italy and grab yourself a bag of this awesome jerky and you’ll be in for quite a treat.  Eat well!



Following a recent trip to Canada we’re enjoying a bag of West Coast Select Beef Jerky picked up at the airport duty free shop in Calgary, Alberta.

West Cost Select Beef Jerky

West Cost Select Beef Jerky

We’re all about exploring the local flavors so this little bag of jerky was a welcome find.  West Coast Select is the beef jerky brand of Sundance Seafood Ltd. in Surrey, British Columbia.  They offer an interesting range of salmon – smoked, canned, frozen, etc. – as well as a pair of beef jerky flavors. With their focus on fish, does their cow-based snack do the job?  Let’s see what you get with this one:

Taste (B):  This is a really salty jerky.  It’s good and really brings out the flavor of the beef, but it is still quite potent.  There’s a complementary sweetness in the mix, too; some sugar and molasses that blend well and help to take a bit of the edge off of the saltiness.  A bit of smoke flavor rounds it all out and, in the end, it tastes pretty good!  It’s not a particularly complex flavor all told.  If you’re into salty you’ll really take to this one.

Texture (B+):  A dry but pliable jerky, the pieces are cut along the grain and tear easily either by hand or teeth.  It’s easy to chew and the meat has a quality feel to it.  Your mouth will like it.

Smell (B):  With a smoky scent that’s both simple and mild, this jerky smells nice.  That’s about it though.

Appearance (B+):  The pieces are generally small with straight-edge cuts and have a medium color with slight red highlights here and there.  They look every bit the quick and tempting snack bites they are.  This jerky looks nice and appetizing.

Consistency (A-):  Bite for bite this jerky is quite well made.  The moisture is consistent, and the salty and slightly smoky-sweet flavor holds true throughout the bag.  The pieces are uniformly thick and the meat is well trimmed.  The Sundance folks make a quality product with clear attention to ensuring that every bite is a good one.  Well done!

Overall Impression (B):  This is a solidly tasty jerky from our friends in BC.  The jerky is wildly salty in a delicious way and is made with the sort of attention to quality that really makes eating it quite a joy.  It’s nothing fancy, just a straightforwardly tasty treat.  So if you find yourself in the Great White North and run across a bag feel confident in picking up a bag and digging in.  It’s a good eat.  Enjoy!



Today we’re openning up a bag of Pacific Gold Original Beef Jerky, picked up at the local Costco here in Frisco, Texas.

Pacific Gold Original Beef Jerky
One of the Oberto Sausage Company brands, Pacific Gold is a mainstay at Costco.  In keeping with the ‘big box’ model, the Costco packages are a half-pound each and sport a zipper closure so you don’t have to fret about polishing off the whole thing in one sitting.  The packing declares this to be a “Premium Jerky”, but is it really all that good?  Let’s see what you get with this one:

Taste (B+):  This is a sweet jerky that first greets you with a nice, and slightly fruity, brown sugar flavor.  It’s a smooth sweetness complemented with a salty smoke flavor and a bit of garlic and pepper.  It’s very well-balanced and the sweetness and spiciness combine nicely to both enhance and accompany the flavor of the quality pieces of premium beef.  It’s genuinely tasty stuff!

Texture (A-):  These jerky pieces are naturally cut along the grain.  It’s tender, but not particularly moist, so pieces bite off easily and chew with an enjoyably substantial feel.

Smell (B):  The jerky smells smokier than you’d think, based upon the taste.  It has an almost sour note in its scent that’s definitely intriguing, but not especially enticing.  You can make out a bit of the fruity scents, too, but most of all it’s the smoke.  It smells good and is an inviting aspect of this treat.

Appearance (A-):  With large natural cut pieces sporting a dark brown color imbued with red in its depths, the jerky’s irregularly shaped pieces are real eye-candy.  It looks like small-batch jerky from days gone by and is truly easy on the eyes.

Consistency (A):  This is an excellently prepared jerky.  The pieces, despite their intentionally irregular size and shape, are expertly consistent in terms of their flavor, texture, and thickness.  The fine folks at Oberto have really shown their skill here delivering a jerky that is tasty and enjoyable from beginning to end.

Overall Impression (B+):  This is a very well made and genuinely tasty jerky.  You’ll love its complex sweetness and the fantastically well-match spices that complement it.  It eats well and is just a real treat waiting to be enjoyed.  On your next trek to your local Costco take a look to see if they have some of this delicious beef jerky and pick yourself up a few bags.  You’ll be glad you did.  Eat well!

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