Friday, June 13, 2008

Divine Bovine - Wild Honey Teriyaki

Divine Bovine - Wild Honey TeriyakiDivine Bovine is a small start up company specializing in gourmet beef jerky. I just discovered this brand while shopping at a local grocery store in my neighborhood.

According to the company's website, it tells the story of a butcher named, "Pops", living in a small village in Southern Italy. He loved to make beef jerky and discovered the most tender and sweetest cut was beef brisket. Pops' grandson then decided to bring this unique beef jerky recipe to market and launched it as Divine Bovine.

They also make the claim to be preservative free, with no nitrites.

In addition to this Wild Honey Teriyaki variety, they make two other varieties, Original, and Honey Teriyaki.

Ingredients

Beef brisket, teriyaki sauce, (soy sauce, wine, sugar, water, salt, spices, onion powder, succinic acid, garlic powder), brown sugar, lemon juice, garlic powder, seasoning (chili peppers, dehydrated garlic, salt, spices), worcestershire sauce, honey, and pepper.

Taste

The first thing I taste is the sweetness followed quickly by the spiciness of the chili peppers. This is very sweet, and very spicy. I'd estimate this as "medium hot", and that's considering I eat a lot of spicy foods. Other folks might see this as just "hot".

The natural meat flavors do come out in this just a little, particularly if you chew a piece up just a little, let it sit in your mouth for 10-15 seconds, and then suck out the juices.

Being free of preservatives, this jerky manages to avoid any kind of stale, or rank, meat flavor, even though it's not vacuum-sealed like many other preservative-free jerkies.

There's also some saltiness evident in here, but it doesn't overwhelm my taste buds. That's mainly because the intensity of the sweet and spicy dominates the flavor. The nutrition label does show 590mg of sodium per serving, which is on the high side.

Overall this has a very good flavor, very sweet, and very spicy, with some saltiness in the background. You probably won't notice too much of the natural meat flavors, however.

Meat Consistency

These are made from real cuts of beef, or beef brisket as the company specifies. It's sliced thin, and in small to medium sizes.

These are very soft and tender pieces. I'd say these are semi-moist, not dry at all. Considering how easy this is to eat, you could go through a package of this jerky very quickly.

I did find some pieces with more than their fare share of fat, but otherwise not much in tendon or gristle.

Divine Bovine - Wild Honey Teriyaki

Divine Bovine - Wild Honey Teriyaki

Product Value

I paid $5.99 for this 4oz bag at a Stater Bros. store in Menifee, CA. That works out to $1.50 per oz, putting this into the average price range.

For that price, I'd say this offers great value. It's packed with a lot of sweet and spicy flavor, it's very easy to tear apart and chew, contains no sodium nitrite, and is so snackable it'll keep you wanting more. If you like spicy hot jerky, this will give it to you.

Rating

Divine Bovine - Wild Honey TeriyakiI'm giving this a "best" rating.

With lots of flavor, offering both extremes in sweet and hot, very easy to tear apart and chew, and too irresistible not to keep eating, I was very impressed with this particular variety from Divine Bovine.

Oddly enough, this variety looks and tastes very much like Alien Fresh's Sweet & Spicy Premium. The ingredients lists are very similar, they both use beef brisket, and they're manufactured by the same meat processor. It's enough to make you scratch your head and wonder, "Hmmmmm!". I called up Divine Bovine on the phone, and talked to one of the company's founders, and he explained that while both companies do use the same processor, each provides its own recipe and meat. I guess it's just one of those things.

Rating: Best

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