Next in the series on Jerk Nation Beef Jerky is this Moms Apple Pie variety. See my previous reviews of their Original Spicy and Chili Lime beef jerky.
Jerk Nation is owned by Adams Gourmet, Inc. based out of Parkland, FL. It's the first to incorporate the "shake & season" concept, where beef jerky comes with a seasoning packet. You tear open the packet, pour the seasoning into the bag, seal it, and shake. The result is a seasoned beef jerky.
The advantage is that you can control how much seasoning to put on, or perhaps enhance it with your own kitchen seasonings.
Beef Jerky: beef, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, teriyaki, onion powder, garlic powder, dark brown sugar, all natural smoke flavor.
Seasoning: sugar, spices (including cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg).
For the record I initially poured only half the seasoning packet and shook. But I found that all the cinnamon and spices was at the bottom of the packet, and I poured out only sugar. So I had to pour the full packet to get a complete blend of seasoning.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is some cinnamon flavor, a fair amount of sweet. Seconds later, I get saltiness, and some soy sauce flavor.
The chewing flavor starts with some worcestershire sauce, and an increased saltiness. I get a light bit of natural meat flavors, and a bit of garlic.
For being advertised as a "Moms Apple Pie" beef jerky, it has the seasonings you'd expect to find in apple pie, though I don't think I taste any apple. However, the combination of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg often seems to taste like apple since they're so often associated with apple pie.
The apple pie seasonings, however, don't last very long. Even with the most heavily dusted jerky pieces, the flavors remain half-way through the chewing at best. After that, the soy sauce, worcestershire, and garlic come on strong.
And some of these pieces get only a light dusting of apple pie seasoning, despite giving the bag a good shaking.
After eating a couple of pieces, I put the rest back into the bag and shook it again. But that didn't seem to improve much. What's left in the bottom of the bag is just sugar. The other seasonings seemed to have either stuck to the jerky, or stuck to the inside of the bag.
Overall, this is a jerky that has two characters. At first, it's sweet with the flavors and fragrances of apple pie. But they soon wear off and you're left the second character of steak with the its associated marinades and seasonings.
Between the two characters, the latter wins out. The soy sauce, worcestershire, and garlic flavors dominate this jerky. Even with the most heavily dusted pieces, these are the flavors that ultimately define the primary taste.
Like with Jerk Nation's other beef jerky varieties I've reviewed, there's a light natural meat flavor in this. Some pieces have some streaks of fat and gristle, which tends to give off a bit of fatty flavor.
The level of saltiness in this seems moderate.
Overall, what you're going to notice is an initial sweet, cinnamon and nutmeg flavoring that wears off either very quickly or lasting only halfway through the chewing, depending on how much seasoning stuck to the jerky. After that, there's a stronger flavor coming from the soy sauce, worcestershire, and garlic.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced thin to medium, in small to medium sized pieces.
This is a dry jerky, with some pieces having a semi-moist surface feel and others a dry feel. The pieces are flexible, bending easily without much cracking. Tearing pieces apart with my fingers seems easy enough, and chewing seems chewy.
The chewing texture starts out feeling soft and pliable. It's chewy, but I think at the right amount for beef jerky. It seems to chew down to a soft mass in about 15-20 seconds. At that point, it feels just like a piece of steak, perhaps cooked medium or well-done, depending on the pieces.
Several pieces have some small bits of fat, but overall this jerky seems pretty lean. A couple of the larger pieces have a thin line of gristle running through middle, but in chewing these I didn't feel anything rubbery like gristle. However, in most of the pieces I felt a fair amount of stringiness, and several pieces resulted in some unchewable wads of tissues.
In terms of clean eating, I get a good deal of seasoning stuck to my fingers, requiring a licking or wiping before touching my keyboard. I also get some seasoning flying off as I tear these pieces.
Jerk Nation sells this Moms Apple Pie beef jerky from its website at a price of $6.99 for a 4oz package. If you bought 8 packages, the total price comes to $65.42, including $9.50 shipping to Southern California. That works out to a price of $2.04 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.04 price per ounce, this seems to provide a decent value. I'm getting a fair amount of snackability, through an "ok" flavor, and good overall meat consistency. That $2.04 price per ounce is about what you'd pay for major brands of jerky at a grocery store, and I think it offers a bit more snackability with its initial apple pie flavor, but after that is just ordinary tasting jerky.
As a "Moms Apple Pie" flavored beef jerky, at the same $2.04 price per ounce, it seems to be a good value. I do get that apple pie flavor, albeit mostly the apple pie seasonings, however some pieces tend to pick up more of the seasonings than the others. Overall, you're getting the flavor that you're paying for.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Moms Apple Pie beef jerky from Jerk Nation definitely delivers on the flavor of apple pie seasonings, though not necessarily an apple flavor. But the flavor tends to wear off quickly and I'm left with a stronger base flavor of soy sauce, worcestershire, and garlic.
The apple pie seasonings seems to work ok with the more soft and tender pieces being that those pieces pick up more of the dusting. The drier, stiffer pieces tend to remain lightly dusted, and I just don't get much of the apple pie flavoring.
Overall, this jerky is still heavier with its base flavor. It's a decent flavor, but not interesting. The apple pie seasonings gives it some extra snackability that seem to make me want to eat more. Unfortunately, each bite of this jerky only gives a few seconds of apple pie goodness, and then it's just the base jerky flavor coming on strong.
Unlike the other beef jerky varieties I reviewed from Jerk Nation, this apple pie variety contrasts the jerky's base flavor instead of complimenting it. The apple pie flavor tastes like ordinary apple pie seasoning, while the jerky tastes like plain ordinary jerky. The two don't really gel into each other; one fades away quickly, and the other takes over.
If somehow Jerk Nation could get more of the cinnamon and nutmeg to stick to this jerky, and make those flavors last longer through the chewing, this would be greatly improved. As it is now, this jerky tastes mostly as its base flavor.
For my recommended beer pairing, go with a Christmas ale, like Abita's "Christmas Ale", Port Brewing's "Santa's Little Helper".
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