Sunday, September 21, 2008

People's Choice Jerky - Premium Teriyaki

People's Choice Jerky - Premium TeriyakiPeople's Choice is a brand of jerky produced by People's Sausage Company, Inc. of Los Angeles, CA. It's a third-generation family-run business that's been around since 1929 originally focusing on sausage. The company later stopped making sausage and moved into the restaurant distribution business. It wasn't until the grandson of the founder got involved that the company started making beef jerky and came up with the "People's Choice" brand name.

People's Choice Beef Jerky is mostly known for its "Big Slab" style jerky that's often found on the checkout counters of convenience stores and roadside fruit stands. They also produce a line of premium packaged jerky made from Angus beef, as well as specialty jerky sold in mexicantessens. They also produce a brand called "Old West", which is more like the traditional thin dry jerky.

The subject of this review, which involves the company's Premium line, claims to be made from "Certified Angus Beef", but it doesn't appear to be the actual Certified Angus Beef brand. I think they made a typographical error, meaning to say it's just angus beef. Otherwise, this Premium line is meant to emphasize a healthier snack based on all natural ingredients, using American raised cattle on a corn-fed diet.

Even though the ingredients use the words "organic" and "natural", there is no USDA Organic seal.

Ingredients

Natural angus beef, organic evaporated cane juice, tamari soy sauce, water, natural spice seasonings, natural apple cider vinegar, natural onion powder, natural garlic powder.

Taste

A combination of sweet, salty and peppery flavor is the first thing that hits my taste buds. That's quickly followed by a soy sauce flavor. It seems like there is also garlic mixed into that salty. Moving into the chew, I can taste the natural meat flavors.

The surface taste of these pieces is very strong with that triple-tandem of sweet, salt, and pepper. I find it very enjoyable and irresistible. In fact, I can almost smell it. I think, however, what I'm smelling is the soy sauce and beef.

For being a teriyaki variety, this has no taste of teriyaki. Rather, it's all soy sauce. The sweetness of the cane juice doesn't marry into the soy sauce at all. That's not to say this jerky is a disappointment, it's still very enjoyable on its own merits.

The natural meat flavors are well evident in the chew, but it has a slight stale taste. The "Sell by" date on this is stamped as "0609", so it appears to be well within the parameters. But the jerky overall still has a snackable taste.

In terms of saltiness, this is heavily salted. But even at the 680mg of sodium listed in the nutrition facts, it doesn't necessarily wear me out. The other seasonings seem to have me wanting more. But the salt flavor is something that looms very large over this jerky.

Overall, this jerky is dominated by the soy sauce flavor, with the salty taste being a second. During the chew, the dominant flavor is the salty, with the natural meat flavors being second. The burst of pepper, sugar, and garlic I get from the surface of these pieces is great. But for being a teriyaki variety, there's no taste of teriyaki in this.

Meat Consistency

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

This is largely a thin and dry jerky, but retaining some degree of flexibility. If bent far enough, they all crack and break apart. It's very easy to tear a piece apart, and easy to chew as well.

Most of the pieces have some decent marbilization of fat, with a couple pieces having larger chunks. But it doesn't seem to ruin the flavor; they actually enhance it somewhat. Otherwise, I found no pieces of tendon or gristle.

Overall, it has a great meat consistency.

People's Choice Jerky - Premium Teriyaki

People's Choice Jerky - Premium Teriyaki
Product Value

I paid $3.99 for this 3.25 ounce bag at a roadside fruit stand just south of Valley Center, CA. That works out to a price of $1.28 per ounce, putting this into the lower end of average priced.

For general jerky snacking purposes, this is a great value. At this lower price, you're getting a lots of flavor, a complexity of flavors, a decent amount of natural meat flavors, and a great meat consistency. That all combines to make this highly snackable.

But as a teriyaki variety, this fails. I get no taste of teriyaki at all. It's largely a soy sauce taste I get, with a shot of sweetness off the surface. Those two are not fusing together to form teriyaki. Besides, teriyaki is more than just soy sauce and sugar. There's the ginger and sake (or mirin wine) components as well, which the ingredients list does not mention.

Rating

I'm giving this a good rating.

I really like the burst of sweet, salt, pepper (and some garlic) that comes off of the surface of these pieces; I find it rather addicting. The soy sauce flavor is enjoyable, along with the natural meat flavors. Even though the meat has a slightly stale taste to it, I don't find it at all disappointing. And while this jerky is very salty, it doesn't wear me out. In fact, I find this jerky difficult to resist.

I chose not award it with a higher rating because it doesn't live up to its advertised teriyaki flavor. It's just a soy sauce flavor with a brief shot of sweetness in the beginning.

If any of you remember the Old Settlers brand of jerky from years ago, back before they were acquired by Jerky Snack Brands, this jerky tastes kinda like that, except the seasonings in this are more intense.

For my beer recommendation, again a jerky with this much flavoring needs a beer light on taste: a honey blonde ale.

Rating: Good

Where to Buy:

1 comment:

  1. You've just won my husbands heart. He's a jerky man. I make sure my kids and I put some in his Christmas stocking every year. Then there's birthdays, Fathers Day, etc. Great blog. Welcome to the blogroll.

    ReplyDelete