Next in the series on Spencer's Beef Jerky is this Sweet & Spicy Mango. See my previous reviews of their Sweet & Spicy Orange and Black Cobra Pepper beef jerky.
Spencer's Jerky is a brand of Spencer's Jerky, LLC based in Orlando, FL. The company started out in early 2009 with Spencer Freiman buying a dehydrator and making jerky for himself. Since then he has expanded production and gone national.
This Sweet & Spicy Mango contains mango along with mango juice.
Beef, soy sauce, marinade sauce, balsamic vinegar, worcestershire sauce, mango, mango nectar, juice (orange and mango), brown sugar, liquid smoke, flavorings.
The first thing I taste from the surface is a light sweet, and light tanginess. Soon after I get a light spicy burn. The more I suck on a piece the more of a fruity flavor I get. Finally, some saltiness comes through.
The chewing flavor starts with yet more fruitiness that defines itself as a mango flavor. There is an increased saltiness, and the spicy burn picks up.
As for being advertised as "Sweet & Spicy Mango", it seems to fill the bill on all three words. I'm getting a noticeable mango flavor, and one that's unmistakably mango the more I eat this jerky. It has a sweetness, but not a heavy one. The spiciness is also there as heat from visible bits of chile pepper flakes.
The chile pepper burn seems to be at a mild-medium level, at least on my hot scale. I'm actually on the line between mild-medium and just medium. As for chile pepper flavor, I taste only trace amounts.
The mango flavor seems to be the single most noticeable flavor in this jerky. It goes all the way through the meat, and in the chewing I get stronger bursts of its fruity, tangy quality.
And the mango flavor also seems to work well with the chile pepper heat. It reminds me of the mango salsas I've had in the past.
I'm not tasting any natural meat flavors in this.
The level of saltiness seems to be moderate.
The other ingredients of soy sauce, marinade sauce, and worcestershire sauce are not well noticed individually.
Overall, what you're going to notice in this jerky is a strong fruity, tangy, mango flavor, with a moderate level of chile pepper heat. You'll get lighter amounts of sweet and salty.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium to thick thickness, and in small pieces.
Most of these pieces are dry, but with a semi-moist surface. The surface tends to dry quickly in the open air. These are not flexible, they'll easily crack apart with any bending. As a result, they're very easy to tear apart with my fingers, and chewing seems to be easy.
The chewing texture starts out feeling woody, but easily breaks apart into smaller chunks as I start chewing. It chews down to a soft mass quickly enough. At that point, it feels crumbly, not really like steak, like moistened granules of meat.
These pieces appear to be very lean, I don't find any visible pieces of fat, no tendon and no gristle, and I didn't encounter any stringy sinews.
As for clean eating, I'm finding some chile pepper seeds and a few meat fragments falling on my lap and desk. I don't find any residue on my fingers however.
Spencer's Beef Jerky sells this Sweet & Spicy Mango from its website at a price of $6.50 for a 3.5oz bag. Right now shipping is free if you purchase more than $25.00. So if you were to order four bags, it would work out to a price of $1.86 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.86 price per ounce, this provides a good value. I'm getting a good snackability for its good overall flavor and ease of eating, though the chewing texture is subpar. But the $1.86 per ounce price is about what you'd pay for major brands at the grocery store, yet I think this has more snackability.
As a Sweet & Spicy Mango beef jerky, at the same $1.86 price per ounce, it's also a good value. It seems to hold up well to those flavors, giving you exactly what you're paying for, primarily with the mango.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Sweet & Spicy Mango from Spencer's Beef Jerky has an unmistakable mango flavor that bursts through the chewing with a fruity and tangy quality. It's also spicy in that I'm getting a moderate amount of heat from the chile pepper flakes.
Mango is not a flavor I'm familiar with in beef jerky, but I think it works quite well with the chile pepper, reminding me of mango salsa.
Overall however, this jerky tends to come off as one-dimensional with the mango flavor being mostly all that I taste. There are no natural meat flavors, and the marinades are hard to notice underneath the stronger mango. The spiciness is really just the chile pepper heat, but I don't taste much of the chile pepper flavor. There is of course a fair amount of sweet, but it's hard to disassociate sweet from mango. The saltiness is there, but that's to be expected in jerky. But I still find the tangy mango flavor to be good.
And the chewing texture, as with Spencer's other beef jerky varieties, doesn't provide any kind of steak-like resemblance. It's crumbly, and just as you swallow it down it turns mushy.
As for my recommended beer pairing, I'd opt for a belgian style brown ale, which I think will help emphasize the mango flavor. Try a La Caracole Nostradamus, or a Toufee Brune.
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