Next in the series on Mark's Meat Co. is this Spicy Garlic beef jerky. See my previous review of their Lemongrass Teriyaki.
Mark's Meat Co. is a new beef jerky brand having launched this year. It's based out of Carmichael, CA, and is the creation of two friends, Mark and Chris. Mark had been making jerky for about six years, when he had Chris try some of it out. Chris was quite impressed, enough so that he encouraged Mark to launch a business. Now the two are business partners.
This Spicy Garlic beef jerky is described as being a "bold combination of garlic, cayenne and ginger".
USDA Choice Top Round, Rice Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Brown Sugar, Garlic, Ginger, Cayenne Pepper.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a good deal of sweet, followed by a well-noticed ginger and garlic flavor. There's a light peppery bite that starts up after a few seconds.
The chewing flavor starts with a stronger garlic flavor, and a bit of saltiness. The cayenne pepper has just a tad more heat.
For being billed as a "Spicy Garlic" beef jerky, there is indeed a lot of garlic that I can easily taste. It's not just garlic powder like so many other brands use, but bits of whole garlic that give off an unmistakable garlic flavor.
As for the spiciness, I can identify the ginger flavor easily, and I do feel a light amount of heat, perhaps coming from the cayenne pepper. I don't necessarily taste the cayenne, but only feel it's burn in a light amount. It ranks about a "mild-medium" on my hot scale. There's clearly more garlic to taste in this jerky than spicy, but overall it seems to hold up to its "Spicy Garlic" advertisement.
The sweetness in this is at a moderate amount, being the first thing I was able to taste. It tends to wear off about mid-way through the chewing.
I can also pick some natural meat flavors, but they're light.
The soy sauce marinade is best experienced at the tail end of chewing, after the sweetness has wore off. It's associated saltiness seem to be at a moderate level.
I can even get a little bit of a tanginess from sucking on the juices, perhaps from the rice vinegar ingredient.
Overall, what you're going to notice in this jerky is a strong garlic flavor, with an easily noticeable ginger and sweet supporting cast. The cayenne doesn't really much of a showing aside from a light-to-moderate burn.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in medium sized pieces.
This is a dry jerky, with a sticky surface feel. The pieces have some flexibility, but will easily crack apart at the grains. Tearing pieces apart with my fingers seems very easy to do. Chewing ranges from easy to moderate.
The chewing texture starts out feeling a little stiff, with a bit of initial chewing resistance. With some effort, it seems to chew down to a soft mass in about 20 seconds. At that point, it chews and feels like a piece of steak, comparable to one cooked medium.
I can see some small streaks of fat on these slices, but otherwise no visible pieces of gristle or tendon. I didn't encounter any unchewable wads of tissue, and very little stringiness.
In terms of clean eating, I'm getting a fair amount of stickiness on my fingertips, enough to require a licking and wiping on my jeans. I didn't find any meat fragments flying off as I tore pieces apart.
Mark's Meat Co. sells this Spicy Garlic beef jerky from its website at a price of $9.00 for a 4oz package. If you bought four packages, shipping costs calculate out to $4.00 for a total of $40.00. That works out to a price of $2.50 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.50 price per ounce, this seems to provide a good value. I'm getting a lot of snackability for its great overall flavor, good meat consistency and chewing texture. That $2.50 price per ounce is higher than what you'd pay in a grocery store for a national brand of jerky, but this is far and away a superior jerky.
As a "Spicy Garlic" beef jerky, at the same $2.50 price per ounce, it's also a good value. I'm getting a lot of garlic flavor, in a liberal dosing of chopped garlic bits instead of garlic powder. And I'm getting a light to moderate spiciness from a combination of ginger and cayenne. Overall, it delivers plenty of spicy garlic value for your dollar.
I'm giving this a best rating.
This Spicy Garlic beef jerky from Mark's Meat Co. packs a nice "wow factor" when I took bite of this, mostly through a triple punch of sweet, garlic, and ginger. The garlic increases its flavor as I chewed away, while the cayenne pepper added a light bit of heat.
The meat consistency offers plenty of chewiness to give jerky lovers what they want, and may just be a little too chewy. But there's so much flavor packed into this jerky that it begs for me to suck and savor each bite. The chewing texture is excellent, feeling like a real piece of steak.
The aroma of garlic that wafts out when I open this package makes my mouth water, and prepares me for something good. The moderate amount of sweetness on this jerky does a good job of balancing out the cayenne's heat and the ginger's pungency. I even get a tanginess in the chewing. Overall, it's an excellent jerky.
For my recommended beer pairing, I'd recommend a double IPA, like Russian River's Pliny the Elder, or Port Brewing's, Mongo IPA.
Buy this online:
- Note: Mark's Meat Co. is now out of business.