Next in the series on New Braunfels Smokehouse is this Jalapeno variety. See my previous reviews of their Peppered and Sweet & Spicy varieties.
New Braunfels Smokehouse is a smokehouse and restaurant located in New Braunfels, TX. The company's history goes back to 1943, when it originally opened as an ice factory. Local ranchers used to bring their meats to them for cold storage. The conversion to a smokehouse happened when an employee started smoking the meats in cold storage, and created some mouth-watering snacks. Locals in the area loved the smoked meats, and hence the company switched gears made a business out of it.
Jerky has become one of the company's most popular products, and New Braunfels Smokehouse offers several varieties of beef jerky, turkey jerky and pork jerky.
Beef, water, salt, jalapeno pepper, red pepper, sugar, sodium nitrite.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a strong smoky flavor. With some sucking I can pick up a light bit of saltiness.
The chewing flavor starts with more smokiness, some natural meat flavors, and more saltiness. I can also feel a light bit of spiciness in the back of my mouth.
For being dubbed a Jalapeno variety, I don't really taste anything like jalapeno in this, neither raw jalapenos, or the pickled type. But I do get some burn. On a single-piece, the burn is light, perhaps registering as "mild-medium" on my hot scale, but elevates to "medium" after eating several pieces.
Otherwise, the primary flavor of this jerky is the smoky natural meat flavor. The smokiness is well-noticed, perhaps just as strong as the meat flavor itself. The meat flavor ends up resembling something like a meat stick, or smoked sausage, perhaps due to the smokiness, saltiness, and peppery seasonings.
The level of saltiness seems light overall. The burn tends to make the saltiness seem much higher than it really is.
Overall, this is a very smoky tasting jerky, with plenty of natural meat flavors, some saltiness, and a fair amount of burn. I don't really identify the jalapeno flavor, or any other flavors.
These appear to be slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in small to medium sized pieces.
This is a dry jerky, with a little bit of flexibility, and a soft feel. Tearing pieces apart with my fingers seems easy to do, while chewing is a bit more labored, but still in the "easy" category.
The chewing texture starts out feeling stiff, with some rubber-like flexibility. It actually breaks down fairly easy enough with some biting and sucking. Once chewed down to a soft mass, it has a texture very much like steak.
This jerky appears to be very lean, I find no chunks of fat, no gristle or tendon, and very little in the way of stringy sinews.
It's also pretty clean eating, with no residue on my fingertips, and no fragments on my lap or desk.
New Braunfels Smokehouse sells this Jalapeno variety from its website at a price of $9.50 for a 4oz package. However, I purchased this through their "Jerky Sampler" which gets me six 4oz packages, each a different variety, at a price of $43.95. Add to that shipping costs of $12.95, and it comes to a total of $56.90. That's a per ounce price of $2.37.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.37 price per ounce, this jerky seems to provide a decent value. I'm getting some good snackability from this due to its smoky natural meat flavor, it's easy to eat consistency, and good chewing texture. That $2.37 price per ounce is considerably higher than what you'd pay for the mass-market brands at the grocery store, but I think it returns a decent amount of snackability for that higher price.
As a Jalapeno beef jerky, at the same $2.37 price per ounce, it's a weak value. I'm not really noticing any jalapeno flavor, though I do get a moderate spicy burn after eating several pieces. If you specifically enjoy the jalapeno flavor, you'd likely feel disappointed after spending $2.37 per ounce.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Jalapeno variety from New Braunfels Smokehouse doesn't seem to provide any jalapeno flavor, but it does offer up a fair amount of spicy burn. The burn seems light on each single piece, but it builds up to a moderate level after eating several pieces.
Otherwise, what this jerky excels at is providing a strong smoky flavor with a well-noticed natural meat flavor. The smokiness, combined with a light saltiness, and the peppery heat, seems to make the meat flavor resemble that of smoked sausage.
The meat consistency is quite good, easy to eat and chew, very lean with nothing getting in the way of my chewing, and a very steak-like chewing texture.
But without that jalapeno flavor, this jerky has a very simple flavor, though still an enjoyable one.
My recommended beer pairing for this, a light tasting beer, like a cream ale or kolsch.
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