Continuing on with my series on Rives Quality Meats is this Turkey Jerky. See my previous reviews of their beef jerky, Regular, Chicago Style, and Barbecue.
Rives Quality Meats is a butcher shop in the town of Rives Junction, MI, that been around since 1973 started by Tom Hosler. In addition to butchering your game and livestock, they sell groceries and offer a delicatessen. They make their own jerky, which has been one of their most popular products.
The first thing I taste off the surface of these pieces is a smoky, salty flavor, followed seconds later by a slight turkey meat flavor. In the chewing, what I taste right away is a stronger turkey meat flavor, followed by a stronger saltiness. There's a faint black pepper taste in the background.
It seems the natural turkey meat flavors are quite strong in this, and seem to dominate the overall flavor of this jerky. It clearly has that unique turkey taste, with just a touch of smokiness.
The salt intensity in this is on the high side, mostly inside the meat. I consider it as the second-most strongest flavor, though if you wanted to consider it the top-most strongest I wouldn't put up much argument. It's perhaps at the upper reaches of what I'd tolerate.
The black pepper you see on these pieces suggest you'll get a good taste of its flavor, but I don't really get much. I only taste it when my teeth bite into a chunk. Otherwise, it's a light black pepper taste in the background.
To sum it, what you're going to taste in this is light smoky, salty flavor on the surface, with a strong turkey flavor and saltiness in the chewing. In many respects, this tastes just like a piece of soft, moist, smoked turkey, as opposed to turkey jerky.
These appear to be cuts of whole meat, sliced into thick strips and chunks ranging from one to four inches in length.
This is a semi-moist jerky inside the meat, but quite moist on the surface. The surface moisture mixes into the meat and makes the whole thing quite enjoyable. The pieces break apart with the grain quite easily, and overall it's relatively easy to chew.
The chewing texture starts out stiff like what you'd expect dried turkey to be like. But it seems to chew down quickly, and ends up feeling just like turkey breast meat. Some pieces had a little bit of that rubbery-resistance, while others chewed down with nary any resistance.
These pieces all seem to be very lean. I found no chunks or streaks of fat or connective tissue. In terms of clean eating, the heavy moisture on the surface leaves my fingertips wet and require some licking and wiping. Otherwise, they don't drop any fragments or bits when tear pieces off.
Rives Quality Meats is currently selling this Regular Turkey variety from their website at a price of $7.00 for 8 ounces throughout this month of March. If you bought 24oz of this stuff, and add to that about $9.00 for shipping, you'll end up with $30.00 total cost. That gets you a price of $1.25 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.25 per ounce price, it's an excellent value. For one, the $1.25 price per ounce is actually cheaper than the jerky you'd buy at a grocery store, but you're clearly getting a better jerky. I'm getting a lot of snackability for its strong, and tasty natural turkey flavors, and for its excellent meat consistency and texture. If you're looking to spend money on a turkey jerky, I think you'll get a lot of snackability for you dollar.
I'm giving this a best rating.
As with Rives' beef jerky, it's the meat that wins. That is, the strong natural meat flavors that tastes just like turkey, the chewing texture that feels like turkey, and the meat consistency being easy to chew, easy to tear apart, with thick chunks and strips of pure meat.
The seasonings and marinade in this are actually quite simple, being mostly just salt, black pepper, and some light smokiness. But because the natural meat flavors are emphasized, it's tough to beat the great flavor that only Mother Nature can create. The seasonings are just there to add more taste interest.
It's also quite moist and tender, similar to eating smoked turkey, rather than turkey jerky.
The only negative I found with this is that's rather salty. I believe, however, this is the same recipe used with Rives' Regular beef jerky, but maybe something with the turkey meat brings out the saltiness more. I know some folks prefer salty jerky, but I just prefer less salt. Still, I think the strong turkey flavors, the meat consistency and texture more than make up for the saltiness.
I'm not sure if this is a good beer recommendation, but a smoked porter sounds really good with this.
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