Monday, May 18, 2009

Alien Energy Jerky - Peppered

Alien Energy Jerky - PepperedAlien Energy Jerky is an extension of the Alien Fresh Jerky brand, designed to capitalize on the energy-infused snack food craze. Alien Fresh Jerky is a brand of The Ramallos Corporation, based out of Las Vegas, NV.

Alien Fresh Jerky is well known to southern Californians who travel up and down Interstate 15 heading to and from Las Vegas. There are billboard signs advertising the jerky store in Baker, CA. The store itself is adorned with alien caracatures, and alien-themed products.

But the town of Baker, CA is also a popular truck stop, and I think that's the idea behind Alien Energy Jerky. Since there's already a lot of truckers stopping there, this is perhaps a way for Alien Fresh Jerky to capture a little extra market share. In fact, The Ramallos Corporation is actively looking for distributors for this new line of jerky.

Ingredients

Beef, brown sugar, teriyaki sauce, honey, vinegar, pineapple juice, corn syrup solids, ginger, caffeine.

Taste

The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a heavy sweet flavor, resembling something close to teriyaki sauce. That's about it. Overall, there's a moderate level of flavor intensity off the surface, but very limited to that teriyaki flavor.

In the chewing what I taste first is a bit of saltiness, and then a continuation of the teriyaki flavor. I can taste light amount of black pepper further into the chewing.

For being billed as a Peppered variety, I do find a light black pepper taste in each individual bite, and gaining a little more intensity over the course of several pieces. If anything, it does present a decent amount of aftertaste. Overall, I'd say that this does live up to its advertised billing as a peppered jerky.

Otherwise, the primary flavor of this jerky appears to be the teriyaki sauce. It does have a flavor that's close to true teriyaki flavor. I do get a thick sweet flavor, and I do get a light salty flavor, and I even pick up the ginger as well. In fact, it has a slight tanginess to it also. If anything, it's just too light on the soy sauce flavor. But overall, it's a good teriyaki sauce flavor.

I'd put the black pepper as the second-dominant flavor.

After that, I don't taste much else. No natural meat flavors.

Overall, what you're going to taste in this is mostly a heavily sweet teriyaki flavor that's similar to true teriyaki. Then you'll get a light black pepper flavor, and that's largely it.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be slabs of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in medium to large sizes.

It's a semi-moist jerky, with a good deal of stickiness on the surface. Tearing pieces apart with my fingers is easy, and chewing seems easy as well.

The chewing texture starts out feeling soft in my mouth, and it chews down to a soft mass quickly and easily. At that point, it feels rather mushy. There is some fibrous meat quality to it, but it's largely mushy. The stickiness on the surface perhaps creates a bit of gummy quality too. Otherwise, I don't get any rubbery chewing resistance.

Most of these pieces seem to be lean, though I found one piece with a nice sized streak of fat. I also found some stringy sinews here and there. But no gristle or tendon.

The stickiness on these pieces doesn't leave any residue on my fingers, however some bits of black pepper do remain on my fingers, and the pepper falls off when I tear pieces apart.




Snack Value

I bought this Peppered variety from the Alien Fresh Jerky store in Baker, CA. Each 3.5oz bag is priced at $8.00. However, they have a deal where you buy three bags for $20.00, and I bought six bags (each a different variety) total for $40.00. That works out to a price of $1.90 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.90 price per ounce, this jerky seems to provide a weak value. I get just a low level of snackability from this. It's a satisfactory flavor, it's just rather plain tasting, and the chewing texture isn't all that steak-like. The $1.90 price per ounce is more towards the median range, but I don't feel this jerky offers an equal snack value in return.

As a Peppered jerky variety, at the same $1.90 price per ounce, it's perhaps a fair value. I do taste a decent amout of black pepper aftertaste after having several pieces. Each individual bite I took from this jerky doesn't yield much black pepper flavor however.

As an "energy jerky", it's hard for me to evaluate since I'm not an energy supplement expert. But in my previous review of Alien Energy Jerky's "Hot" variety, I noted that I did remain awake and alert well into wee hours of the morning. If you're a long haul trucker, perhaps this is a good value.

Rating

I'm giving this an average rating.

This Peppered variety from Alien Energy Jerky offers mostly a teriyaki flavor, but a pretty good teriyaki flavor at that. Personally, I think this is better off being marketed as a Teriyaki variety, since many other teriyaki jerky brands I've had also use black pepper as a seasoning.

Even though I said this provides a low level of snackability for me, I think it still lives up to its claim as a Peppered jerky, and that would create some additional snackability for peppered jerky lovers.

Otherwise, it's a rather plain tasting jerky. The black pepper does add some bite to the heavy sweet flavor, but the jerky itself does have any natural meat flavors. Really, it's just straight teriyaki flavor with some black pepper on it. And the chewing texture is rather mushy too, though you could also argue that it's easy to eat and chew.

For my recommended beer pairing, I'd go with a light bodied, hoppy flavored, IPA.

Rating: Average

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3 comments:

  1. These guys are trying to copy perky jerky's energy drink infused jerky, don't care for either.

    If I want a caffeine "HIGH" I'll have an Espresso Salute!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Not true Anonymous, Alien Energy Jerky came out before Perky Jerky.

    ReplyDelete
  3. According to the FDA, caffeine has not been approved as an additive for use in meat products, only in supplements and in cola type beverages... makes you wonder how they were able to get this on the market when its illegal?

    ReplyDelete