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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!


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!



Today’s tasty testing is being conducted on a big ol’ bag of Krave Black Cherry Barbecue Pork Jerky procured at the local Costco.

Krave Black Cherry Barbecue Pork Jerky

Krave Black Cherry Barbecue Pork Jerky

KRAVE has been crafting a unique, nontraditional assortment jerky for several years.  They pride themselves on providing all-natural jerky that’s minimally processed sporting one-of-a kind taste experiences.  We reviewed their Smoky Grilled Teriyaki Gourmet Pork Jerky and Pineapple Orange Gourmet Beef Jerky about a year ago – tasty stuff – and jumped at the opportunity to try this their newest flavor.  Is it as good as its predecessors?  Here’s what you get with this one:

Taste (A):  From your first bite you taste delicious pork that starts with a mild, almost timid sweetness.  There’s sugar, honey, and molasses in there but it takes a little time for them to be distinct.  The cherry flavor comes next, riding the wave of the sweets.  It’s a carefully balanced fruitiness that adds to the taste all on its own.  The savory flavors that follow, a bit of red wine and the garlic and onion, quickly capture your attention without detracting from that delightful fruity sweetness.  There’s a bit of a spiciness that tops it all off, after a spell, culminating in a terrifically complex yet subtle taste that’s nothing less than masterful.  Still, in every bite, you taste that delicious lean pork, its flavor elevated through this impressive display of skill and execution.

Texture (A):  This pork is exceptionally tender, cut along the grain, and tears easily in strips.  It is particularly easy to bite and chew and has a substantial feel to it.   It provides a really enjoyable bit of eating.

Smell (B+): You can detect a good bit of the flavors of this jerky in its scent.  The garlic and onion are prominent along with that red wine and black cherry.  It’s very appetizing and easily preps you to take that first bite.

Appearance (A):  This jerky looks great.  The generally large strips of pork are natural cut and sliced moderately thin.  The meat itself is lean and sports a rich reddish-brown color overall with lightly colored edges here and there.  The larger pieces are accompanied by a variety of smaller jerky bits – thin strips, tiny nuggets, etc. – adding to the artisan feel of the meat.

Consistency (B+): The cuts of meat exhibit a good bit of variety in size and shape, though most are larger strips.  Every piece in the bag is sliced to a uniform thickness throughout, even the tiny bits, and the moisture content is just perfect down the last bite.  The flavor is almost as consistent.  The overall flavor throughout the bag was really, really good, but the balance of flavors did vary somewhat from piece to piece.  In some pieces the sweetness and the black cherry flavors seemed notably more pronounced while in others they were more subdued relative to the spicy and savory flavors present.  While the aggregate intensity seemed to be pretty much the same this variation was notable.  To be clear, it didn’t detract from the jerky in any meaningful way but it didn’t seem intentional, either.  It’s a minor blemish in an otherwise masterfully made meat.

Overall Impression (A):  Its always great to find a unique jerky flavor that delivers on the prommise of being something special, and this jerky is definitely something special.  The novelty of the black cherry flavor alone would make this a noteworthy treat, but made with such a delicately balanced flavor while honoring and preserving the innately delicious pork itself…  wow!  Nicely done, Krave!  If you have the opportunity you should definitely pick up some of this exceptional pork jerky.  Great snacking awaits you… eat well!


Howdy, y’all!

We’re tearing into a bag of Texas Best Smokehouse Venison Jerky picked up at their store in Italy, Texas.

Texas Best Venison Jerky

Texas Best Smokehouse Venison Jerky

Being a fan of Texas Best Smokehouse’s delicious meats, it was a no-brainer to swing by on a recent road trip to central Texas to stock up.  This particular bit of tastiness is one of many different meats available in their store.  Along side the bison, elk, and good ol’ beef, the venison was a particularly tempting option.  So, does the deer hold its own among the other available meats?  Here’s what you get with this one:

Taste (A-):  This meat starts out with a slight sweetness followed by a nice peppery tang.  The venison flavor is mild and savory and the garlic and other seasonings are perfectly balanced to enhance but not overwhelm it.  The pepper builds over time, bringing a bit of heat as you work through the bag, but never too much.  It’s a tremendously enjoyable flavor, with the sweet and savory in terrific harmony, and delicious through and through.

Texture (A):  The meat itself is quite dry.  While a little pliable, with only a bit of flexing and you’ll begin to tear off pieces.   Since it’s cut along the grain tearing the meat is easy, and while it starts off pretty dry it moistens up quickly in your mouth and delivers a really great chew.   The pieces are relatively thin, but still substantial, and you can feel the leanness of this meat it in every morsel.

Smell (A):  This jerky has a low-key scent, primarily that of the meat itself with a bit of support from the garlic and pepper.  The venison smells fantastic, too – solidly meaty – with the seasonings just teasing your nose a bit around the edges.  It sets you up nicely for that first bite, foretelling the taste to come.

Appearance (A):  With natural cut pieces, mostly in substantially sized strips, this jerky looks very appetizing.  It has an almost dull sheen, with spots of shininess here and there, and a dark brown color with red highlights peeking through the depths along the with-the-grain cuts.  This is a fine-looking jerky.

Consistency (B+):  This is an expert-made jerky by people who clearly love what they do.  The pieces, while natural cut, were uniformly thick.  The meat was consistently dry and slightly pliable through and through, too.  In only one way, this particular bag was a touch less consistent than we’ve seen from other Texas Best Smokehouse wares – the flavor.  While every piece was delicious, some of the pieces seems to lack some of the sweetness of the rest.  It didn’t seem to be the normal variation of the meat itself but rather a subtle difference in the intensity of the flavorings.  To be clear, it was ALL really, really good, and didn’t detract from the enjoyment of the meat at all, but the difference was a noticeable one none the less.  Even with that, the Texas Best Smokehouse folks make some awesome jerky and this venison is another great example of their skill.

Overall Impression (A-):  One word:  Delicious!  This is an incredibly great jerky.  The venison flavor is frame perfectly by the seasonings of the jerky and the pieces themselves are a joy to eat.  They look as good as they taste and you’ll enjoy the bag from beginning to end.  This jerky is a definite winner.  Grab a bag and we’re sure you’ll agree this is some seriously tasty jerky.  Eat well!



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!



Today we’re having a bag of Texas Best Smokehouse Sweet Honey Beef Jerky purchased in their store in Italy, Texas.

Texas Best Smokehouse Sweet Honey Beef Jerky

Texas Best Smokehouse Sweet Honey Beef Jerky

The folks at Texas Best Smokehouse make a veritable cornucopia of meaty treats including an impressive array of jerky.   Their Honey Bison Jerky was a clear favorite, so how does its beef counterpart stack up?  Let’s see what you get with this one:

Taste (B+):  This is some tasty jerky.  While the name would suggest a predominantly sweet flavor, this jerky starts its work in your mouth with a kick of soy sauce and pepper.  It’s a bit punchy. After a bit you register the taste of some quality, lean beef and the brown sugar sweetness that accompanies it.  The balance isn’t what you’d expect, but it is very tasty.

Texture (A):  The jerky is lean and moist,  but still slightly tough.  You’ll work a bit to tear off a bite but it chews easily and feels great.

Smell (B+):   With a relatively low-key aroma, the scent of beef is intricately accompanied by a slightly peppery smell and combination of soy and brown sugar.  It blends together pretty well and is generally enjoyable.

Appearance (A):  This jerky is an exceptionally dark brown with only a slight redness and a distinctive sugary sheen.  The pieces are cut along the grain and while a few of them are little more than a couple bites most are fairly substantial.  It’s also distinctive that none of the pieces show any discernible straight edge cuts, really enhancing the natural look of this visually fantastic jerky.

Consistency (A):  The folks at Texas Best Smokehouse didn’t leave anything to chance with this one.  Every single bite was thoroughly tasty.  The peppery kick and low-key sweetness are exacting throughout and the thickness was uniform without seeming mechanically so.  It’s expertly well made stuff.

Overall Impression (A-):  This jerky is a quality, tasty treat.  The sweet beef flavor is good stuff, but the peppery kick is what you’ll remember.  It’s a lean, delicious, expertly made jerky that’ll delight your mouth and leave you wanting more.  Again it’s worth going out of your way to visit Texas Best Smokehouse to pick up a few bags of this delicious jerky of your own.  Eat well!



Today we’re partaking of a bag of Golden Island Grilled Barbecue Pork Jerky picked up at the local Costco.

Golden Island Grilled Barbecue Pork Jerky

Golden Island Grilled Barbecue Pork Jerky

Costco regularly carries a small variety of jerky, and they’re one of the few places that regularly carries pork jerky.  The folks at Golden Island offer jerky with no preservatives, nitrates or fillers and made from premium pork hams.  They use a combination of kettle cooking and flame grilling when making their jerkies that allows them to make a particularly flavorful and tender treat and focus on using only quality, natural ingredients.  It’s a compelling story but does is the meat as good as the tale?  Let’s see what you get with this one:

Taste (B+):   This is a delightful jerky.  The pork’s flavor is first and foremost sweet.  Sugar, brown sugar and corn syrup feature early in the ingredients and you can taste it in every bite.  While sweet as can be it’s not at all overpowering.  The sweetness is fantastically paired with the pork and the other flavors, a bit of citrus and wine, enhance the sugary goodness.  It’s meat candy, truly.

Texture (A):  This is a natural cut jerky cut along the grain.  The pieces are moist, tender, and exceptionally easy to bite and chew.  It’s a pleasure to tear off a bite and enjoy eating this jerky.  It feels great.

Smell (B+):  You can smell the brown sugary sweetness most prominently with this jerky.  It’s an enjoyably sweet scent that clearly conveys much of the jerky’s flavor.  You can make out hints of the other seasonings, but just hints, and it all comes together really nicely.

Appearance (A):   Presented within the bag in a small plastic tray, you get a sense that you’re being offered jerky that’s worth a little extra attention.  With a reddish, light-brown color and a glistening sheen from the sugary glaze, this jerky looks every bit the sweet treat that it is.  The pieces are mostly large and of a moderate thickness and are naturally cut with mostly irregular edges.  It’s a fantastic presentation and an even better looking meat.

Consistency (B+):   The Golden Island folks have done some things exceptionally well with this jerky.  First, the moisture of this jerky is exceptional.  From bite to bite, beginning to end, every bit of this jerky was the model of tenderness.  It’s impressive, to say the least, and shows great care and attention was invested in this meaty goodness.  The flavor, too, held throughout the bag.  The sweetness, with just those hints of sour, was a persistent treat.  The only chink in their otherwise spotless armor is the gristle… and there was just too much of it.  To be clear, it only effected maybe a fifth of the pieces in our bag and often not just a little spot of fat but rather a largish blob of unappetizing crud.  We know that this is a normal part of the meat, but they clearly cut out the fatty bits in most of the pieces in the bag leaving the impression that some of the pieces just made it through without remediation.  It’s not a critical flaw, surely, but it took away from their otherwise flawless emphasis on quality.

Overall Impression (B+):   Yes, you want some.  This outstandingly made and genuinely tasty pork jerky is the meat candy you’ve been craving.  It’s sweetness is almost over the top and the amazing tenderness of every piece will delight your mouth again and again.  If you spy some of Golden Islands delicious Grilled Barbecue Pork Jerky at a store near you, you know you’ll do right to pick some up and partake of it’s tasty goodness.  Eat up and enjoy!


Howdy folks!

Today we’re having a go at a bag of Krave Smoky Grilled Teriyaki Gourmet Pork Jerky procured in the specialty food section of the always-interesting Spec’s.

Krave Smoky Grilled Teriyaki Gourmet Pork Jerky

Krave Smoky Grilled Teriyaki Gourmet Pork Jerky

Another of Krave’s innovative jerkies, it is made with minimal processing and without artificial ingredients and promises a wholesome, satisfying snack.  We first heard of Krave a few years back on when we picked up a sample pack of their unfamiliar and intriguingly flavored jerkies.  They amused.  Should you rush out and pick up a bag for yourself?  Let’s see what you get with this one:

Taste (B-):  This is definitely not your run-of-the-mill teriyaki.  The flavor is unusually savory for a teriyaki jerky, with a definite sweetness but one that is not at all dominant in the flavor.  It’s a very unusual balance, and a bit disconcerting at first, but it grows on you.  After a few bites you get a better sense of the soy sauce and wine flavors mingling with the sugar and spices and somehow the pork manages to carry through, too.  It demands a bit more attention than typical teriyaki jerky to really appreciate what’s going on, but it’s definitely worth it.

Texture (A-):  What a pleasantly supple jerky this is.  This along-the-grain cut jerky is almost too moist and tender, taking the innately accommodating pork to the very edge of its goodness.  It tears easily, chews almost effortlessly, but all the while feels substantial.  This is some well done pork-work!

Smell (B+):  The teriyaki scents are nicely interwoven with a more subtle smoky smell that rolls around nicely in your nose.  It’s not a particularly potent aroma, but delivers a clear and inviting preview of the jerky itself.  You can particularly make out the soy and rice wine but they don’t really stand out, as such.  It all hold together in excellent balance and smells pretty darn good.

Appearance (A-):  With a dark reddish-brown color and a glossy hue this jerky is pork on parade.  The pieces are cut along the grain and the lean, tender pieces of pork will appeals to your eyes as much as your mouth.  The Krave folks have clearly taken care to craft a high-quality food and have attended to the detail of their wares.

Consistency (A-):  Again, the fine folks at Krave have demonstrated their skill and attention to quality in making this jerky.  The thickness, flavor, and moisture of this jerky is uniform throughout and even pieces of substantially different size delivered the same unique flavor and texture.  It’s a sign of skill that they maintain this level of control.

Overall Impression (B+):  Jerky like this makes Jerkyology fun.  This pork jerky doesn’t try to take the ordinary teriyaki experience and do one better, it takes the idea of teriyaki and does something all its own.  It’s a really enjoyable departure from the norm but still something that takes a bit of acclimation to really appreciate.  It’s a good, well-made jerky that will definitely deliver an out-of-the-ordinary jerky experience.  Grab a bag if you can and partake of its tasty goodness.  Enjoy!



We’re knawing on a bag of Krave Pineapple Orange Gourmet Beef Jerky picked up in the specialty food section of the local Spec’s.

Krave Pineapple Orange Gourmet Beef Jerky

Krave Pineapple Orange Gourmet Beef Jerky

Krave offers an exciting assortment of jerkies, each sporting unique flavors and made with minimal processing and without artificial ingredients.  Their packaging conveys their love of the meat with whimsical iconography and saying.  These folks clearly love this stuff!  Is it as good as it looks?  Let’s see what you get with this one:

Taste (B):  The flavor of this jerky is great, but you might, at first, shy away from your first taste.  With such bold packaging you’d be forgiven for expecting a bold flavorful punch but you won’t find anything that clumsy here.  What you get instead is a mildly intense and only moderately sweet jerky with a deceptive complexity that takes a little time to come through.   The first thing you taste is the citrus flavors, mostly pineapple with a supporting bit of orange.  It’s a nice flavor with the fruitiness nicely enhanced with a bit of good ol’ sugar. After that already subdued flavor begins to fade you start to notice the supporting tastes so carefully woven in.  You quickly detect the soy and wine flavors and they add a truly enjoyable depth to this meaty treat.  If there’s room for improvement here it would be that the taste is a bit too subtle and leaves you wanting something a bit stronger.  Still, it tastes good and is definitely worth the time it takes to take it all in.

Texture (B+):  With a soft, almost flaky consistency, this natural-style jerky is cut across the grain and is remarkably tender.  It is exceptionally easy to eat and feels great in your mouth.

Smell (B-):  This jerky smells sweet with the pineapple scent being the most pronounced.  It smells nice, if not particularly interesting, and does an adequate job of conveying the low-key nature of this jerky.

Appearance (A-):  This jerky has a dark brown color with light yellow highlights.  The pieces are natural-cut in varying sizes and provides a nice variety to your eyes.  The surface of the jerky is moist yet has an almost dusty look to it, no doubt from its sugary glaze, that looks quite appetizing.  It’s a handsome jerky.

Consistency (A-):  The Krave folks show their stuff in the fantastic consistency of their jerky.  The thickness of each piece is uniformly thin and the moisture and texture of the jerky holds true throughout.  The taste, too, is expertly uniform and delivers the same great jerky experience from beginning to end.

Overall Impression (B):  This jerky does a lot of things right.  It’s clearly made with great skill and is a truly enjoyable treat.  Still, while the flavor is genuinely pleasant, it seems a bit too understated and you may find wishing it had a bit more to offer.  That said, it’s a really good jerky that offers a novel taste and a lot of character.  If you spy a bag of this great jerky in your favorite fine food isle pick up a bag and give it a whirl.  You’ll definitely enjoy this tasty treat.  Enjoy!

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