Next in my series on Riteway Meat Company, is this Teriyaki variety. See my previous review of their "Home Smoked Beef Jerky".
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.
The company says the following about this Teriyaki variety, "If you don't try this one you will be missing out on a real treat. Marinated in Riteway's own, exclusive teriyaki sauce. Don't ask for the receipe, it's a secret."
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a moderately-intense sweetness, followed by something with a light sour/tangy flavor, very similar to the vinegar of pickled red cabbage. In the chewing, that sour/tangy flavor intensifies, and I can pick up a light saltiness.
But as for being labeled a Teriyaki variety, I don't see this as having the teriyaki flavor I would normally expect to get. However, I can in fact taste characteristics that resemble teriyaki. True teriyaki should have a tangy component, and a pungent component, and that sour/tangy flavor I found in this jerky perhaps represents that. But it's clearly not the typical teryaki flavor you'd expect to get from a Japanese restaurant, but I can see how this can be a different style of teriyaki.
Otherwise, the primary flavor of this jerky is that sour/tangy flavor. I think what I said about it resembling the vinegar found in a jar of pickled red cabbage is a better description than just calling it teriyaki. I also wonder if it's simply the flavor of beer, because it does have a malty flavor.
The sweetness is the second strongest flavor, having a somewhat strong intensity on the surface, which carries into the chewing. But I can taste a sweetness inside the meat as well.
I don't find any natural meat flavors in this.
However, there is a good deal of oiliness in the meat, enough that I think it provides a light oily flavor. Or at least, I can feel the oiliness in my mouth.
The saltiness is very light.
Overall, the flavor of this jerky seems rather simple, as just that sweetness and that sour/tangy flavor. In fact, I keep thinking of Danish-style cuisine as I continue eating this, I think because pickled red cabbage is something you often find at a Danish restaurant.
These appear to be slices of whole meat, sliced thick, and in medium to large pieces.
This seems to be a semi-moist jerky, with a wet, sweet glaze on the surface. Despite how thick these slices are, it's actually easy to tear them apart with my fingers. Chewing seems relatively easy.
The chewing texture is quite steak-like. Once it's chewed down to a soft mass, it feels just like eating a steak cooked well-done. I don't find much initial rubbery resistance, and not gummy, mushy, or crumbly at all.
I do find some small streaks of fat on most pieces, and one piece in particular had quite a bit. Otherwise, it's really not bad at all. I didn't find any gristle or tendon, but I did find a few strands of chewy sinews, though sparingly.
Handling these pieces does leave a good deal of sticky/oily residue on my fingers requiring a licking, or just a wiping on my jeans. But tearing pieces apart didn't result in any fragments falling off and making a mess.
Riteway sells this Teriyaki 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 this $2.62 price per ounce, this Teriyaki variety seems to provide a weak value. I find an average amount of snackability from this, it has an interesting taste with that sour/tangy flavor, and it has an excellent meat consistency. I think the price is actually too high for what snackability I'm getting back.
As a Teriyaki Beef Jerky, at the same $2.62 price per ounce, is a decent value. I'll give Riteway some benefit of doubt that this is just a different style of teriyaki, and that I am in fact getting a lot of that flavor. But it's clearly not the typical teriyaki flavor that most Japanese restaurants would serve. The price is still rather high in my opinion, even if this jerky provided the standard teriyaki flavor.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Teriyaki Beef Jerky from Riteway Meat Company offers a very interesting flavor, one that clearly is unexpected from other teriyaki jerky brands. It's not the typical teriyaki flavor you'd get from most Japanese restaurants, but I can see how this could be offered as a different style of teriyaki. It has the sweet, salty, tangy, pungent components that true teriyaki is supposed to have, it's not just the typical teriyaki flavor.
As for my comparing this flavor to that of pickled red cabbage, I still think it tastes very much like that. At first, I was taken aback when I first tasted this jerky, but over several pieces it grew on me, and I actually like it now.
What kept me from giving this a best rating is that it still didn't offer any natural meat flavors. Instead, this jerky has to rely on its seasonings and marinade to win high marks, and while it's a good flavor, and an unusual one at that, I didn't find it exceptional enough to get that high mark.
For my recommended beer pairing, I'd go with a red ale.
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