Friday, June 27, 2008

House of Jerky - Turkey Teriyaki

House of Jerky - Turkey TeriyakiHouse of Jerky is a small, but well known brand in the field of gourmet jerky, relying on a national network of small beef jerky stores, and a website optimized for search engines.

Teriyaki turkey jerky is perhaps the most popular form of turkey jerky, and probably also the most popular form of jerky period. Probably the biggest reason has to do with the fact that combining both sweet and salty into a snack food has been one of the fastest growing flavor combinations in the industry.

I had previously reviewed a teriyaki turkey from Smokey's Beef Jerky, which received a "best" rating from me. So I thought I'd put this rival offering from House of Jerky to test.

In addition to this teriyaki variety, House of Jerky also offers a black pepper turkey variety, which already received a "best" rating from me as well.

Ingredients

Turkey breast, teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, honey, pineapple juice, water, liquid smoke, black pepper, garlic powder, ginger powder.

Taste

The first thing I notice is a thick sweetness of teriyaki and honey, followed by the taste of teriyaki. The taste of ginger comes through afterwards, and then finally I can detect the natural meat flavors.

Even though black pepper is listed in the ingredients, and is visible in sparing amounts, I don't really taste it. It probably only provides a "taste ambiance".

The natural turkey meat flavors are there, but the thick sweetness of the sugar and teriyaki masks much of it. I tend to taste more of it after several chews, and sucking out some of the juices. Turkey meat's unique taste is still evident in these pieces; you still know that you're eating turkey, it's just not as well defined as it is in the company's black pepper turkey variety.

Despite this variety not containing any artificial preservatives, it has a fresh taste.

Overall, this is a good teriyaki turkey jerky. It offers a good and sweet teriyaki flavor, some natural turkey meat flavors, and some ginger can be detected too. It's not that salty, even though the nutritional label an average volume of sodium. After having eaten several bites, I can sense a black pepper aftertaste.

Meat Consistency

These are real cuts of turkey meat, sliced in average thickness, and in medium sized pieces.

The meat is generally dry, but with a thick layer of sticky sweetness. I found the pieces to be moderately easy to tear apart and chew, with a little bit of extra effort required here and there, but overall offering a good jerky experience.

One piece had a small bit of tendon that I couldn't chew through, and ended up pulling out of my mouth and tossing into the trash. Otherwise, I didn't find any fat, or gristle; these are mostly lean cuts of turkey.

There is enough stickiness to these pieces, that you'll have to lick your fingers each time you tear off a piece.

House of Jerky - Turkey Teriyaki

House of Jerky - Turkey Teriyaki
Product Value

House of Jerky sells this through their website at a price of $10.50 for a 4oz package, making that an average price of $2.63 per oz, which makes it rather expensive. The company says that this price includes shipping. I've been able to find their jerky at lower prices when visiting one of their outlet stores.

But I'd still say this offers a good value, considering it's hard to find really good turkey jerky. The terikyaki turkey jerky from Smokey's Beef Jerky, which I'm comparing this to, is actually priced cheaper than this, and got a "best" rating from me.

Rating

House of Jerky - Turkey TeriyakiI'm giving this a "best" rating.

I actually sat on the line between the "good" and the best" rating. While this is indeed very good, I found this to be somewhat bland. But it's largely the same jerky as their teriyaki beef, which I gave a "best" rating to. I'm thinking that maybe this particular review package (which contains only 2oz) might have been an exception. But since the company sent me several varieties of their jerky for free, I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt.

I still like the contrast between the sweet teriyaki, and the pungent taste of ginger powder. It gives it more of an Japanese experience. I probably would prefer to taste more of the black pepper, just to break the blandness, but that's just a personal preference of mine.

On the other hand, I'm just being a nit-picky critic. Most people who love teriyaki turkey jerky will find this to be exceptional.

I also found this to be very snackable, always wanting to reach for more.

Rating: Best

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