Tuesday, July 1, 2008

House of Jerky - Buffalo Black Pepper

House of Jerky - Buffalo Black PepperThe husband-and-wife business of House of Jerky is a popular gourmet jerky brand that thrives in small tourist mecca towns across the USA, and in roadside stands along the highways. They're a classic American success story of a great product, some hardwork, and the entrepreneurial spirit.

This black pepper variety is the only variety the company offers in Buffalo jerky. Buffalo meat really took off in the 1980s as the health-food craze really started to take off. And while everyone has tried buffalo by this time, I don't think it'll ever get anymore popular, largely because it doesn't taste much different than beef, and it's health benefits are not that much more better.

But it's always great to have some buffalo jerky, just to say that you've expanded your food experience.

Ingredients

Buffalo, water, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, pineapple juice, black pepper, liquid smoke, garlic powder, white pepper.

Taste

Immediately, I'm hit with a strong taste of pepper. That's good since this jerky touts itself as a black pepper variety. I can also detect the soy sauce pretty quickly, followed by the natural meat flavors.

The liberal seasoning of black pepper probably makes this jerky mild to medium in the "hot" scale, and maybe medium hot for tongues of lesser tolerance.

There's also a sweetness I can sense, but very subtle.

The soy sauce continues to leach itself out of the meat as I continue to chew and suck on these pieces. There's also a saltiness that makes itself known.

The natural meat flavors have a fresh taste, not stale at all considering this variety contains no artificial preservatives. Not being an expert with buffalo meat, I can't really say that this tastes more like buffalo than beef. But it does have a very evident meat taste.

Overall, I find this to be very tasty. It has a strong black pepper flavor, and plenty of flavor that continues to leach out as I chew and chew.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be real cuts of meat, sliced thin, and in large pieces.

This is a dry jerky, with some stickiness to touch. It tears apart easily, and chews just as well. This is a really good jerky for softening up in your mouth and enjoying the flavors.

I don't find much fat on this at all, it's pretty lean. I didn't find too much in tendon, and nothing in gristle.

Overall, the meat consistency provides for a great eating experience, allowing me to enjoy it's taste without detraction.

House of Jerky - Buffalo Black Pepper

House of Jerky - Buffalo Black Pepper

Product Value

House of Jerky sells this buffalo variety through their website at a price of $13.50 for a 4oz package. That works out to $3.38 per oz, putting this into the expensive category. Being that buffalo meat is always more expensive than beef, you'll pay more than you would for beef. But a price of $3.38 per oz is still high for buffalo jerky. Many others are found in the $2 price range.

But then again, with buffalo jerky brands and varieties being so much shorter in supply than beef jerky, you'll be hard pressed to find a really great buffalo jerky. You might find House of Jerky's pricing to be worthwhile.

As a black pepper variety, you'll definitely get lots of black pepper taste in this. But if all you like is black pepper jerky, you'll get better value for your money with a beef jerky than a buffalo variety.

But the question is this, if buffalo tastes very much like beef, then why pay a few dollars more for this buffalo jerky instead of buying the Beef Black Pepper also offered by House of Jerky?

With this buffalo jerky, you're only getting better nutritionals. The buffalo gets you lower cholesterol (15g versus 20g), less fat (0.5g versus 1g), and more protein (15g versus 13g). That may be important enough to warrant paying extra for buffalo.

But it's not that much more of a benefit for me. I'm still seeing this as a taste comparison. I find this to taste very similar to the company's Beef Black Pepper, albeit this buffalo variety has brown sugar, the beef does not. I'm more content to stick with beef.

Rating

House of Jerky - Buffalo Black PepperI'm giving this a "best" rating.

Overall, it has a great taste, just as with House of Jerky's other varieties. It's easy to tear apart and chew, and offers you plenty of natural meat flavors. As a black pepper variety, it stands up on its feet as a serious black pepper variety. It also has great snackability, I find myself always wanting more.

While the flavorings are simple, just black pepper, soy sauce, and sugar, it's packed heavily with these flavors so that it continues to leach itself out for as long as you chew. While I didn't necessarily find the taste as redundant, I would certainly welcome an extra seasoning, I'm thinking along the lines of jalapeno pepper, in a small amount, just to add that extra taste dimension.

Rating: Best

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