Friday, August 22, 2008

Ray's Own Brand - Teriyaki

Ray's Own Brand - TeriyakiRay's Own Brand is a brand of beef jerky produced by a business of the same name, located in San Luis Obispo, CA. It was started by Raymond Cattaneo and wife Nina Marie in 2003.

It seems these days I keep reading about a growth in popularity over beef jerky produced from the central coast of California, an area known for its cattle ranches and fine wines. The two are often paired together where "artisan jerky" is washed down with a sip of red wine.

Ray's beef jerky business follows his barbecue service, Cattaneo BBQ Service, which has grown in popularity across the central coast of California since 1971. He's been in the meat industry since the age of 9, when he started working in his family's business.

Ray's Own Brand is a husband & wife operation with Ray overseeing the individual batch processing, with Nina Marie directing all business operations. They make their own beef jerky at their own faciliy.

Ingredients

Beef, teriyaki sauce, black pepper, spices, garlic, sodium nitrite.

Taste

I get a teriyaki flavor immediately upon putting a piece into my mouth, followed by a bit of saltiness, and then followed by the natural meat flavors.

The teriyaki taste is light, but enough to let you know that it's teriyaki sauce. As I get into the chew, much of the teriyaki taste wears off and I'm left with the salt and natural meat flavors.

The natural meat flavors give off a strong beef taste. It's a sharper beef taste when compared to the smoother Gary West Meats brand of jerky. This is more similar to a grilled steak. If you'd rather have a beer with your beef jerky (like me), I think a porter would pair up well this.

The saltiness is moderate, it's largely the main flavoring in this, despite it being a teriyaki variety. While the nutrition label shows this has having a very high sodium content (787mg), keep in mind that the label represents the entire 2oz package being one serving. That would work out to about 394mg of sodium in a 1oz serving, well within the moderate range for jerky.

The black pepper seasoning is something I taste after several bites of this jerky; I get its aftertaste in the back of my mouth.

Overall, this is a jerky that largely emphasizes its natural meat taste, while adding a slight bit of flavorings. The meat taste is what lasts throughout the chew, along with a moderate saltiness.

Meat Consistency

These are cuts of whole meat, sliced thick, and in small to medium sized pieces. I'm reviewing the 2oz sized package, and is thus not big enough for larger pieces.

This is a dry jerky that retains its flexibility when bent against the grain. If bent with the grain, it cracks open. Tearing a piece apart requires a bit of effort with the grain, but is not anything that would detract from the overall enjoyment. But based on how thick these pieces are, you couldn't bite against the grain.

Chewing also requires a bit of effort as well, mostly based on its thick pieces. You're best to just bite down on a single grain, and strip it off like string-cheese.

There are a few bits of fat here and there on these pieces, which is enough to provide this jerky with an added taste dimension, and gives my mouth and lips with the fine coating of oil. I also find some bits of chewy membrane remaining in my mouth after chewing, but not anything that can't be swallowed down. Otherwise, no tendon or gristle.

Overall, it's a good meat consistency.

Ray's Own Brand - Teriyaki

Ray's Own Brand - Teriyaki
Product Value

Ray's Own Brand sells this Teriyaki variety from its website at a price of $7.00 for a 4oz package. That works out to a price of $1.75 per ounce, putting this in the average price range.

For that price, I think it provides a good value for general beef jerky enjoyment. It offers a great taste and a good meat consistency, and it does offer a great snackability.

But as a teriyaki variety, it's a weak value. If you love teriyaki flavored jerky, there really isn't much teriyaki taste in here. The teriyaki flavoring is there enough to be recognized, but then wears off quickly as you start chewing, and is mostly left behind as a saltiness.

But if you love jerky that emphasizes its natural meat flavors, this is a great value. That's really what this is about, anyways. I find a sharp beef flavor in this, which I think is further enhanced by the tiny bits of fat.

Rating

Ray's Own Brand - TeriyakiI'm giving this a good rating.

This teriyaki variety from Ray's Own Brand does a great job of emphasizing the natural meat flavors, and a slight bit of teriyaki, in a good meat consistency.

What kept me giving it a higher rating is that I prefer jerky that also belts out its advertised flavor. Perhaps many others prefer the lighter teriyaki taste to further emphasize the natural meat flavors. It's also a tad on the tough side, just a tad.

The package actually states, "Sweet and Tender", but I can't really say that it is. There's very little sweetness in this, perhaps only detected from the surface of these pieces, and the meat consistency is not tender by any means.

However, this is still a savory jerky, one that I really enjoyed mostly for its natural meat flavors. I also enjoyed the bits of fat in this meat consistency because it added a more "beefy" flavor to this.

Rating: Good

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5 comments:

  1. Ray's teriyaki beef jerky is so tasty! The teriyaki flavor is like no other beef jerky I have had before!

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  2. Overall, I find this to be a very addicting jerky from Ray's Own Brand. In fact, I've tried all the varieties from them, and love them all. Raymond Cattaneo you're the Best!

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  3. The jerky is overpriced and not as good as what his father made at Cattaneo Bros.

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  4. Steve, I enjoy your reviews a lot. I think you ought to change your requirements for "best" rating. Often you take points off if the flavor is not as advertised. For me, it doesn't make much difference what the flavor is. If it's advertised as "hot" and it's kind of mildly spicy, it won't bother me because I'm not a person that is biased towards any flavor of jerky. I like the hot, the sweet, the peppered, etc. If the jerky is well made, it will taste good no matter the flavor.

    I just bought some of Ray's but avoided the teriyaki because it didn't get a best rating. But now looking closer at your review, I find that it wasn't given a best rating over a technicality in the advertised flavor.

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  5. Chris, it's a good discussion, and I've tossed it around in mind also. For example, I love hot spicy jerky. So when I see a jerky brand advertised as "hot", more often than not I will feel compelled to part my money for it. But when I discover that it's actually mild, I feel ripped off, and that jerky suddenly loses some snackability.

    I think that many people make purchasing decisions based on what the packaging says. So when Ray's Own Brand offers a "Teriyaki" beef jerky, people expect to get teriyaki flavor in return. And therefore, I have to evaluate it as a teriyaki jerky.

    But you're right in that all jerky can still be excellent jerky on its own merits. I've recognized that in many of my reviews.

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