Wednesday, October 1, 2008

365 Organic - Turkey Jerky - Bar-B-Que

365 Organic - Turkey Jerky - Bar-B-Que365 Organic is the store brand of Whole Foods Market, a national chain of grocery stores. The brand is used across a wide variety of foods. It's jerky is actually manufactured by a private labeler, Intermountain Natural, LLC, out of Idaho Falls, ID.

Intermountain Natural also makes jerky for Trader Joe's, and offers their own house brand, Golden Valley Natural. From the best I can tell, the jerky they make for Whole Foods Market is the same jerky they make for Trader Joe's and Golden Valley Natural, with the exception that this particular Bar-B-Que variety is not duplicated in those other brands.

This line of 365 Organic jerky is stamped with the USDA Organic seal, and certified organic by Quality Assurance International.

Ingredients

Organic turkey, organic evaporated cane juice, water, organic ketchup, organic apple cider vinegar, sea salt, organic paprika, organic caramel coloring, natural smoke flavoring, organic cayenne pepper, organic black pepper, organic onion powder, organic garlic powder.

Taste

A sugary sweet taste is what I get right away from the surface of these pieces, which eventually wears off and presents a slight smoky flavor. There's also a rather strange taste that's hard for me to place, it has something of a chemical quality to it. Moving into the chew, I'm not really picking up anything more, except maybe a slight bit of the black pepper.

For being advertised as a "Bar-B-Que" variety, I'm not tasting much barbecue flavor. I think I can taste something faint, way back there, that might resemble a barbecue flavor, but it's quite a stretch to call that barbecue.

And being a turkey jerky, this has zero taste of turkey. I mean, I can't identify any kind of flavor that would suggest this was made from turkey. If I didn't know this was turkey, I'd have trouble figuring out what it was.

This jerky is primarily a sweet jerky, offering a good amount of sugary goodness that hits me well off the surface, and then slowly dissipates, and leaves behind some smoke flavor and then some black pepper flavor. That's what this is, sugar-smoky-pepper jerky, with no meat flavor.

It's not necessarily a bad tasting jerky, it's still ok for snacking purposes.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be slices of whole meat, sliced into medium thickness, and in small to medium sized pieces.

This is a soft and tender jerky, retaining a slight bit of moisture. The tenderization process seems to have left this meat in a "crumbly" state, that is, it crumbles apart rather easily. In fact, there's a good deal of crumbled bits at the bottom of the bag.

It doesn't really chew with much resemblance of turkey meat. I don't really feel the meat fibers too well, only slightly. It's as if this turkey is in a state halfway between whole meat and sausage.

I found only a small bit of fat on one piece, otherwise nothing else chewy in the way of tendon or gristle.

365 Organic - Turkey Jerky - Bar-B-Que

365 Organic - Turkey Jerky - Bar-B-Que
Product Value

I paid $6.99 for this 3 ounce package at a Whole Foods Market in Irvine, CA. That works out to a price of $2.33 per ounce, making this an expensive buy.

For general jerky snacking purposes, this has a poor value. It offers a decent taste in the seasonings, but no taste of turkey meat, and has a fair meat consistency.

As a barbecue variety, it's another poor value. If you buy this for the barbecue taste, you'll feel ripped off, especially at the how expensive this jerky is.

Even as a turkey jerky, it's a poor value. It tastes nothing like turkey.

Rating

I'm giving this a fair rating.

It's only saving grace is that it doesn't taste bad. Otherwise, I really couldn't find anything positive to say here, other than if you like sugary jerky, you might like this. It doesn't live up to its advertised flavor, it doesn't provide any natural meat flavors, it doesn't even chew like meat.

The fact that it's priced so high, goes to show how gullible Whole Foods Market thinks its customers are. But then again, that's the power of branding, and they seem to have a very powerful one, attracting people into buying their products purely on "social responsibility" alone, and not on taste, quality, or value.

If you really this jerky, despite all that, then buy Trader Joe's jerky, it's same exact jerky, made by the same manufacturer, except theirs is priced $2.00 less per bag, and they give you 4 ounces instead of 3.

I'd recommend a hoppy beer, like an IPA.

Rating: Fair

Where to buy:
  • At any Whole Foods Market

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