Last in our short series on Fesperman's Beef Jerky is this Garlic variety. See my previous review of their Original variety.
Fesperman's Beef Jerky is a brand of Fesperman's Beef Jerky, Inc., of Twin Hills, OK. It was launched by Curtis and Lynn Fesperman back in 1997, but the couple have been making and selling their jerky since before then.
The company makes jerky in their own USDA inspected facility, marinating their meat for 12 hours, and using the same recipe the Fesperman's created in their kitchen years ago.
Beef, soy sauce, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, smoke flavoring, pepper, salt, garlic powder with 2% Calcium Stearate.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a worcestershire sauce flavor, with some sweetness mixed into it. In the chewing, I taste more of the worcestershire in greater definition. I can taste garlic, and it does seem to be more intense than what you find in the worcestershire sauce. I can also taste a medium-level saltiness.
For being advertised as a garlic variety, I think it does live up to that billing. I do get a garlic flavor from this, particularly in the chewing than from the surface flavors. However, after several pieces I seem to get it in varying degrees. Some pieces it's strong, in others I can't tell if it's the same amount of garlic I'd normally find in worcestershire sauce. It's really noticeable when you stop chewing and suck out the juices.
Still, the flavor that seems to dominate this jerky is the worcestershire sauce. It's noticed right away off the surface flavors. When I start chewing, the flavor becomes more defined, to where I can pick up some of its other ingredients.
There's also a noticeable sweetness to this, off the surface, and in the chewing. I wouldn't classify it as a dominant flavor, it's just enough to take the edge off the worcestershire.
The garlic flavor is not really a dominant flavor either. It mostly adds to the worcestershire.
There are no natural meat flavors in this.
The salt intensity seems medium, not too much, not too little.
Overall, what you're going to taste in this is a worcestershire sauce flavor immediately from the surface, to where it becomes more defined in the chewing. The garlic is noticed in the chewing, and varies from piece to piece in intensity. Still, it's really just a worcestershire sauce jerky.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into a slab style, with medium to thick thickness, and in small to medium sized pieces.
It's a dry jerky, quite dry. The pieces are rather stiff, and as such, can be tough to eat considering some pieces are sliced thick. They're actually easy to tear apart with my fingers, being somewhat brittle.
The chewing texture starts out feeling hard, almost like a piece of wood. I suck on it for a few moments to help soften it up. In about 20 seconds it chews down into a softer mass. At this point, it starts to feel similar to a steak cooked well-done. Unlike the Original variety I reviewed earlier, this Garlic variety didn't contain as many chewy sinews. I'm sure that's not limited to the Garlic variety, and it's just hit-or-miss with each batch of jerky they make.
Because of how hard and stiff these pieces are, I tend to tear off smaller pieces to make it easier to eat.
These pieces seem very lean, I didn't find any chunks of fat, and no tendon or gristle. They're also clean eating, with only a few fragments of meat falling off as I tore pieces apart, and no residue on my fingers.
Fesperman's Beef Jerky sells all of their varieties at a price of $8.00 for a 4oz package. I bought two packages, and with shipping cost added in, for a total of $21.50. That works out to a price of $2.69 per ounce, putting this into the expensive price range.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.69 price per ounce, it presents a fair value. I get an average amount of snackability for this. I like taste of this stuff better than the Original variety due to that extra bit of garlic. But these pieces are just too hard to enjoy, and that seems to take away from its snackability.
As a garlic variety, also at the $2.69 price per ounce, it presents a decent value. I do get a good taste of garlic in this, but still, the higher price of $2.69 per ounce makes it tough to justify. Although, there are not that many jerky brands that pack in a lot of garlic flavor, so if garlic beef jerky is specifically what you want, then perhaps this price within reason.
I'm giving this an average rating.
This Garlic variety from Fesperman's Jerky has a good flavor, though somewhat light-to-medium in intensity. It's largely a worcestershire sauce jerky, but enough garlic that it creates a good flavor.
But the meat consistency is quite hard, to where the jerky is tough to chew, and is almost like chewing chunks of wood. My jaw muscles became tired halfway through this package. I could overlook the toughness if the flavor was really good, but it's not that good, just "good".
Overall, you'd have to love hard jerky to like this stuff. My advice is to break off small pieces, and suck on them on like candy. Then chew. Fortunately, this jerky has enough flavor in it that you can enjoy it this way.
My recommended beer pairing for this, a porter.
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