Next up in the series on Mingua Beef Jerky is this Teriyaki variety. See my other reviews of their Cajun Style, Hot, and Mild varieties.
Mingua Beef Jerky is based in Paris, KY, founded by Ronnie Mingua (pronounced Ming-Ghee). One late night, Ronnie, a tobacco farmer, bought a Ronco food dehydrator after watching one of those late-night infomercials. A year later, he perfected a recipe and soon started selling jerky all over the State of Kentucky.
Eventually he and his brother built a USDA approved facility and designed their own meat dehydrators, and expanded production. Now, the Minguas rely on beef jerky sales to keep the family going, and are selling it to stores all across the eastern USA.
Mingua Beef Jerky is made without preservatives and no nitrites.
Beef, teriyaki sauce, liquid smoke.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a combination of soy sauce and sweet, both seem to hit at the same time with the same level of intensity.
The chewing flavor starts with much of the same, except with some natural meat flavors.
As a Teriyaki beef jerky, the teriyaki sauce doesn't have a lot of definition. That is, what I taste is a lot of sweet, and some soy sauce, but little else. I'm not getting the tangy flavor or the pungent contrast out of this teriyaki. The teriyaki sauce that Mingua uses in this could very well have those components in it, but it's not showing up for me in this jerky.
The teriyaki sauce also seems to wear off quickly as I continue to chew a piece. Mostly it's the sweet that wears off, perhaps as early as half-way into chewing.
What I'm tasting instead is largely the same flavor as their Mild beef jerky, but with more sweet, and less saltiness. I'd say the saltiness is at a mild intensity.
This jerky also has the same smoky natural meat flavor that I found in Mingua's Mild, Hot, and Cajun Style jerky. It strong enough to notice and enjoy, but not strong enough to overpower the teriyaki flavoring. Some of these pieces have significant streaks and chunks of fat, which adds a slight bit of fattty flavor.
Overall, what you're going to notice in this is a milder teriyaki flavor, tasting only the soy sauce and sugar components. The tangy and pungent components that most teriyaki sauces have could very well be in this, but it's not showing through. After that, you'll notice a mild smoky natural meat flavor.
These are slices of whole meat, cut slab-style into thin slices, and in small to medium sized pieces.
This a dry jerky, with a dry surface feel. However, some piece have enough streaks of fat that they have an oily surface feel. Some pieces are sliced very thin, and as a result chews with a soft, semi-moist feel. The pieces are very easy to tear apart, and chewing seems moderately easy.
The chewing texture starts out feeling stiff, with a plastic-like feel. With some chewing, it starts to break down and eventually chews down to a soft mass in about 10-15 seconds. At that point it takes on a steak-like feel, but a little crumbly.
Most of these slabs contain visible streaks and spots of fat, some more than others. Some pieces don't contain anything unchewable and feel like they're pure meat, while others contained some stringy sinews. I didn't encounter any tendon or gristle, however.
In terms of clean eating, the pieces with more fat tend to leave an oily film on my fingertips, but not too bad. Others seem to leave my fingertips dry. Tearing pieces apart didn't really drop any fragments of meat.
Mingua Beef Jerky sells this Teriyaki variety from its website at a price of $6.99 for a 4oz package. If you buy four packages, the shipping cost works out to $8.30 (to Southern California), for a total of $36.26. That's effectively $2.27 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.27 price per ounce, it seems to be a fair value. I'm getting an average amount of snackability mostly for its smoky natural meat flavor, and overall satisfactory taste. That $2.27 price per ounce is higher than what you'll spend for the national brands at a grocery store, and I think this jerky is a little bit better, but it's at the upper-limit of what I'm willing to pay.
As a Teriyaki beef jerky, at the same $2.27 price per ounce, it's a weak value. After having had teriyaki beef jerky from other other national brands (Jack Link's, Oberto, Bridgford), it seems like I'm not getting any better teriyaki flavor from this, and that price is higher than what I'd pay for those national brands.
I'm giving this an average rating.
This Teriyaki variety from Mingua Beef Jerky doesn't provide a lot of teriyaki flavor in my opinion, mostly a mixture of soy sauce and sugar. Even though the ingredients list shows "Teriyaki Sauce", I'm just not tasting any thing like real teriyaki sauce. I'm assuming that somewhere in the dehydration process, some of the subtle flavor components that make teriyaki sauce so unique have faded away.
But on it's own merits, I still found this jerky snackable in that it didn't provide a bad flavor or bad consistency. I could still enjoy what flavors it had to offer, mostly a sweetened soy sauce flavor, and a smoky natural meat flavor. In fact, it doesn't have that overpowering saltiness that Mingua's Mild beef jerky has, which for me makes it more enjoyable. And it's still fairly easy to eat and chew.
But overall, it's simple in flavor and is not going to excite the beef jerky aficionado. This review sample also had a lot of fat on these pieces.
For my recommended beer pairing, go with a medium-hopped beer, like a red ale or pale ale.
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