Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fatman's Beef Jerky - Jalapeno Lime

Fatman's Beef Jerky - Jalapeno LimeFatman's Beef Jerky is a brand of Red Meat Foods, LLC of Roswell, NM. The company was started by Rick and Ellen Robey in 2006.

For 30 years, Rick Robey had owned and operated a holstein calf raising business as well as a USDA inspected packing plant. He says that his experience in the beef business gave him some insight into the commercial jerky business and told him that there wasn't much jerky out there that really gives consumers a taste of "good true beef flavor". So, he sought to create Fatman's Beef Jerky.

The company makes their own jerky in their own facility using American born and bred cattle. With their line of chile jerky (such as this Jalapeno Lime), they use only fresh, locally grown chiles, as opposed to the foreign grown stuff that has been causing so much e-coli bacteria poisoning.

Fatman's is sold in stores mostly in the desert south-west region of the USA, and through their website, with sales topping $300,000 in its first year.


Beef, water, soy sauce, jalapenos, lime juice, garlic salt, green pepper sauce, black pepper.


A jalapeno chile taste hits my tongue right away upon a putting a piece into my mouth. I can start to feel a slight tingle of the spiciness. Next I pick up a saltiness, and then going into the chew, I mostly taste the natural meat flavors.

Being advertised as a "Jalapeno Lime" variety, I do a get a clear sense of jalapeno flavor, though the lime taste is hard to find. I can, in fact, detect a slight tangy taste which could be the lime. However, I can't find anything that tastes distictly lime.

This is not hot at all, as the Jalapeno name suggests. I'd rate this as mild-medium.

But that jalapeno flavor is largely the dominant taste I get from the surface of these pieces. Once I get into the chew, that flavor dissipates, and the natural meat flavors dominate.

The natural meat flavors have a fresh taste. It has a mild tasting beef flavor, similar to eating the center portion of prime rib. The company says they use meat from the inside round.

I don't find this too salty at all. I can definitely taste the saltiness, but it doesn't overpower this jerky. The other ingredients of soy sauce, garlic, and black pepper are not noticeable, but perhaps adds to overall "ambience".

There's also a simplicity in this taste. I'm largely only tasting the jalapeno, meat, and salt. If eating only one or two pieces, that could be fine. But after eating several more pieces, I'm starting to want more flavor complexity. The lime combination would likely do it for me, except I can't find the lime taste in this.

Overall, this Jalapeno Lime variety has a great taste that's mostly highlighted by the jalapeno flavor off the surface, and migrating into the natural meat flavors into the chew. The saltiness is there as a constant in the background.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be cuts of whole meat, sliced thin, and in medium to large sized pieces.

This is a dry jerky, one that is rather brittle. Being sliced thin, it tears apart very easily. Perhaps it's better to say that it "breaks apart" easily. In fact, the thin slices and brittle nature makes this jerky crunchy, which perhaps adds to the snacking pleasure. But it still chews like real meat.

I notice some splotches of white residue on these pieces. I don't know what they are. I don't pick up any concentration of taste from them.

These are very lean pieces, with nary amount of fat on them, and no bits of tendon, gristle, or connective tissue. Overall, it's a great meat consistency, one that the thin-dry jerky lovers will relish.

Fatman's Beef Jerky - Jalapeno Lime

Fatman's Beef Jerky - Jalapeno Lime
Product Value

Fatman's sells this Jalapeno Lime variety at a price of $7.99 for a four ounce package. That works out to $2.00 per ounce, putting this into the expensive price range.

For general jerky snacking purposes I'd rate this having a decent value, due to the fact it's still a delicious jerky with a great meat consistency in an expensive price. It definitely fits the bill to satisfy your snacking urge.

As a jalapeno lime variety, it also has decent value, because while it has a good amount of jalapeno taste, the lime taste is lacking. You'd buy this for the jalapeno flavor, not the lime flavor.

But overall, it's a great tasting jerky, in an easy-to-eat form factor, that belts out a good natural meat flavor with jalapeno spiciness. It's well worth the money just to enjoy on its own merits.


I'm giving this a good rating.

This Jalapeno Lime variety from Fatman's offers a great tasting beef flavor that gets enhanced by the spiciness of jalapeno chiles. Combined with the thinly sliced, and crunchy nature of this jerky, it makes it very snackable.

I'm only keeping it away from a best rating because I can't find the lime flavor in this. I'm sure there's lime in this, but I just don't notice it. But don't let that mislead you, this is still a great tasting jerky on its own merits, offering plenty of natural meat flavors with some spicy jalapeno taste.

One thing that strikes me with Fatman's Beef Jerky is that it has the characteristic of "minimally processed" jerky. That is, it looks as if it was made by a real person in their kitchen, as opposed to something looking and tasting like it was ran through a factory and touched by several people. It provides me with an extra bit of satisfaction in that sense. Even the clear plastic bags, and the homemade-looking labels, looks as if I bought this at a farmer's market. I don't know how close to reality that statement is, but in a beef jerky product it gives me the sense that small-town America is alive and well.

I think a good beer with this is a hefeweizen, or wheat beer, with a lemon wedge.

Rating: Good

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