It was over a year ago that I reviewed Ju Ju Jerky's line of Turkey Jerky, giving both their Original and Spicy varieties "best" ratings for its bold, complex seasoning blends. I had found their turkey jerky in my local grocery store, but I was never able to find their beef jerky.
Recently, the company sent me samples of their beef jerky!
Ju Ju Jerky has been around for about five years, founded by Seline Beauvoir, a chef who decided to offer a great tasting jerky focusing on flavors of the Caribbean Islands, and doing it with very low sodium.
Top round beef, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, brown cane sugar, lemon pepper, hickory smoke flavor, spices, onion powder.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light sweet, followed by a faint worcestershire sauce flavor. I can pick up the onion powder, and a slight garlic flavor. There's a faint tanginess in there too.
The chewing flavor starts with an increased tanginess with more of a fruity definition. I can pick up a stronger garlic flavor as well. There's a light black pepper flavor in the background.
It's hard for me to single out any one flavor component as the dominant flavor, because it has a complex flavor where I can taste so many of the components. But the flavor that I keep noticing the most is that tanginess, which I think comes from the lemon pepper. It's noticed mostly in the chewing flavor.
The light sweetness is perhaps the most noticeable flavor during the initial few seconds off the surface flavor.
Between the soy sauce and worcestershire sauce, it's the worcestershire that seems to be most noticeable of the two. It's still a light flavor overall that tends to get lost underneath seasoning blend. But here and there, it's unique flavor rises up to the top and I notice it for a brief moment.
The garlic and onion flavor is easily noticed in this. I wouldn't call it strong, but not necessarily light either.
The natural meat flavors are largely non-existent.
The level of saltiness seems moderate, even though the nutrition label shows a low sodium content. I think the stronger seasoning blend makes it seem saltier than it really is.
The black pepper continues to be light throughout the chewing, just barely noticeable in the background.
Overall, you're going to taste a light sweetness initially, and then several individual flavor components will come in, onion powder, garlic, a fruity tanginess, a worcestershire sauce flavor, black pepper, and a light saltiness.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in small pieces.
This is a semi-moist jerky, with a semi-moist surface feel. The pieces are easy to tear apart with my fingers, and easy to chew.
The chewing texture starts out feeling soft and tender, with some light rubbery resistance, but very easily breaks down with some light chewing. Before too long it chews down to a soft mass, and by that time, it tends to have a meaty texture, almost steak-like, but with some mushiness.
A few pieces had some visible streaks of fat, and I also encountered a little bit stringy sinew in the chewing. But no unchewable wads of tissue, and no visible streaks of gristle or tendon.
As for clean eating, it's quite clean. I get no residue on my fingers, and no tiny fragments falling on my lap, mostly because the bite-sized pieces doesn't require tearing apart.
This Original beef jerky sells in select stores at a price of $5.99 for a 3.25 ounce bag. That works out to a price of $1.84 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.84 price per ounce, it's an excellent value. I'm getting a lot of snackability for it's great overall flavor, good meat consistency, and decent chewing texture. I also love the low sodium content, without tasting bland. The $1.84 price per ounce is the same as what you'd pay for other mass-market brands of jerky at the grocery store, but I think you'll get far better taste, and better meat consistency.
I'm giving this a best rating.
This Original variety of beef jerky from Ju Ju Jerky seems to be the same blends of marinade and seasonings as the Turkey Jerky I reviewed before, and tastes just like what I remembered.
It's a complex blend of flavors, marked mostly by a fruity, tangy flavor in the chewing, with a good deal of garlic and onion, and touches of worcestershire, black pepper, and salt. I found it difficult to stop from reaching for more. For those of you in search of a low sodium jerky, here's one that doesn't necessarily taste like it's low sodium.
It's also easy to eat with its semi-moist consistency, and provides a decent chewing texture.
I think a good beer pairing for this is a dark, smoky porter.
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