Friday, November 28, 2008

Mt Shasta's Finest Beef Jerky - Original

Mt Shasta's Finest Beef Jerky - OriginalWhile driving back to Southern California after a trip up north to Washington State, I stopped at a gas station in Yreka, CA, and found this bag of Mt Shasta's Finest Beef Jerky. Always wanting to try new jerky brands, I picked this up, along with another one of their flavors, black peppered.

The package says it was manufactured for Bill Wood Distributing. A look on the Internet shows that it's a small company that distributes products to truck stops, gas stations, and convenience stores around the Northern California area. The jerky itself was actually manufactured by Lucksen Trading Company, who makes several brands of jerky under its KMB Foods banner. The packaged is stamped, "Produced in the USA".

I tried to call Bill Wood Distributing, but got only a recorded message; I had hoped to pick their brain on this brand of Mt Shasta's Finest.

In the end, I ate the black peppered variety while driving home, but left myself this original variety to review. I should have bought a couple packages of that black peppered so that I could at least have one left to review, it was really good stuff!


Ingredients

Beef, water, salt, pepper, papaya, brown sugar, garlic powder, seasoning sauce (caramel, water, carrots, onions, celery, parsnips, turnips, salt, parsley & spices).

Taste

The tastes I pick up from the surface of these pieces is a slight sweet flavor, followed by a meat flavor, and I think some peppery flavor. Moving into the chewing, I find a very strong meat flavor.

Right away, the natural meat flavors are evident in this. It tastes just like the outer layer of prime rib. In fact, it's the dominant taste of this jerky.

The seasoning sauce listed in the ingredients, I'm sure, has a lot to do with the flavor of this. There's a bit of pungent quality to the marinade that was perhaps created by the garlic, onion, parsnips and turnsips. I can also taste a bit of peppery aftertaste in the back of my mouth.

There's a salty flavor as well, but I don't see this as being "too salty" even though the nutrition facts label might suggest otherwise.

It's difficult for me to peg down the second-most dominant flavor of this, but I'd probably give it to the salt. But it's largely the natural meat flavors that take over the palate.

Meat Consistency

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

This is a dry jerky, one that retains just a bit of flexibility, but will crack not too long after. It's still flexible enough that it won't break apart. In fact, most pieces are rather tough to tear apart, though some others are not too bad. But it's tougher to chew, I find most of the pieces to give my jaw a good work out. This is something better to suck on for awhile, and then chew.

In terms of chewing experience, it seems to chew like a real steak, though more like a tough steak.

It's a pretty clean jerky, leaving no residue on my fingers, and no bits of meat on my lap. And it's also seems to be fairly lean, seeing only one piece with a significant piece of fat. I did find one piece with a nice sized piece of gristle, which was very hard.




Snack Value

I paid $4.99 for this 4 ounce package at a Mobil Station in Yreka, CA. That works out to a price of $1.25 per ounce, putting this into the average price range.

For general jerky snacking purposes, I think this offers an excellent value. Even though it's a tough jerky that'll give your jaw a work out, I find the taste to be worth the exercise.

Rating

I'm giving this a good rating.

I really like the taste of this jerky, which is mostly all natural meat flavors, tasting like the outer portion of prime rib. The salt and marinade seem to enhance the flavor of the meat.

But the tough meat consistency makes it difficult for me to assign a higher rating. While I can overlook the toughness for the great taste, there's not enough in the taste department that wows me to give it a best rating.

The black peppered variety, that I consumed before I could write a review, could have gotten a best rating just because it did provide a good deal of black pepper taste combined with that meat taste. In fact, I'd love to try a jalapeno variety of this stuff.

My beer recommendation would be a brown ale.

Rating: Good

Where to buy:
  • Contact Bill Wood Distributing, (530) 926-2588

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