Riteway Meat Company is a full service butcher shop in Dundee, OR, serving local farmers for more than 40 years in the areas just south of Portland. Jerky is one of their featured products.
I learned about them online last November, while visiting my folks in Renton, WA. I had planned to visit some jerky manufacturers in Oregon as I drove back to California, so I did a Google search for "oregon jerky" and put together a list of places to visit. But as it turned out, I couldn't fit any of them into my schedule.
So I finally got around to buying some jerky from Riteway.
This particular variety called, "Home Smoked Beef Jerky" is described by Riteway as follows, "Thick cut and alder smoked, you will love our "Traditional Old Style" beef Jerky."
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light smoky flavor, followed by a light saltiness, and faint bit of sweet. There's a strong meaty aroma. In the chewing, I get a stronger taste of salt, a stronger smoky flavor, and a good deal of natural meat flavors.
Right off the bat, the thing I notice is that there's quite a bit of simplicity with this jerky, even though making this jerky might not necessarily be all that simple. You get thicks cuts of meat in large sizes, salted, smoked, but with a good deal of meat flavors, and lots of flavor intensity.
The primary flavor of this jerky seems to be meat flavors. But they don't taste like beef, rather it's more similar to bacon meat. That is, if you can imagine a thick cut of bacon meat, cooked soft not crispy. That's kinda what it tastes like. I find it quite good, mainly because I love bacon.
That meat flavor of has a good deal of saltiness to it. I'd rank the salt intensity level as high, but I don't yet find this to be "too salty" for my tolerance.
The smokiness is also a dominant flavor, it's detectable on the surface, but I think it's more noticeable in the chewing.
Overall, what you're going to taste in this is a strong meat flavor that resembles the taste of bacon meat. There's a strong saltiness, and a strong smokiness.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced very thick, and in medium to large pieces.
This is a semi-moist jerky, with some pieces being plain moist. Overall, tearing these pieces apart with my fingers requires some effort, and it's also a little chewy, or moderately easy to chew.
The chewing texture of this jerky feels very steak-like, or just like a real piece of steak. Once it's chewed down to a soft mass, it's similar to a steak cooked medium-well. Initially, when I first put a piece into my mouth, it has a bit of rubbery resistance, but falls apart pretty quickly with some sucking and light biting.
Some of these pieces contain noticeable streaks of fat, while others have a decent amount of marbilization. I did not encounter any gristle or tendon, but all pieces contained some chewy strands of sinew.
As for clean eating, this jerky doesn't seem to drop any fragments of meat when I tear pieces apart, but it does leave a fine film of oil on my fingertips.
Riteway sells this Home Smoked Beef Jerky from its website at a price of $15.99 for an 8oz package. I bought three varieties of beef jerky from them, each at this price. Add to that shipping of $15.00, and the total came to $62.97 for 24oz of jerky. That's a price of $2.62 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.62 price per ounce, this jerky seems to provide a decent value. I'm picking up a good deal of snackability mainly for its bacon-like meat flavors, but also for its good chewing texture, high flavor intensity, and semi-moist consistency. The $2.62 price per ounce is pretty high, but I think there's plenty of snackability to get from this, that I think it's a worthwhile buy.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Home Smoked Beef Jerky from Riteway Meat Company provides a good deal of snackability from its strong meat flavors, which seems to resemble the flavor of bacon meat. It has a strong saltiness and a strong smokiness, which is what you get from bacon. Aside from that, it's a very simple jerky in terms of flavor.
But just as impressive are the extra-thick slices of meat, in a semi-moist consistency. I found one piece that was just plain moist, which I got a lot of enjoyment out of. It's a little chewy, kinda tough to tear apart, but overall still within some ease of chewing. And it chews just like a piece of steak.
I didn't award it a "best" rating because I didn't think it offered that extra bit of "oomph" to push it over the top. Maybe it needs more black pepper, or more garlic, or something to give it bit more taste interest. Considering it's bacony taste, some maple flavoring would be awesome.
For my beer recommendation, I'd go with a darker colored cream ale.
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