Next in the series on Crazy Horse Beef Jerky is this Cajun variety. See my previous reviews of their Original and Sweet varieties.
Crazy Horse Beef Jerky is a brand made by Dave Wenrich in Hellam, PA, who started making this brand about nine months ago, based on a old family recipe that he got from his father, who received the recipe from his father, who received it from his father.
Dave smokes all of his jerky from USDA certified bottom round in a homemade smoke house using maple, oak, and fruit woods, and sells it locally in some shops and on his eBay store.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a spicy seasoning flavor, much like chili or cayenne powder, with some saltiness, and a bit of heat building up. There's a touch of smokiness back there too.
The chewing flavor starts with a bit more smokiness and some natural meat flavors. The saltiness picks up a bit.
For being dubbed a Cajun beef jerky, it definitely has the spicy seasoning and heat that I'd normally associate with the description. Upon putting a piece into my mouth, I get a burst of that chile pepper seasoning along with a moderate amount of heat.
But like with Crazy Horse's Original and Sweet varieties, the smoky natural meat flavors dominate the overall flavor, though the cajun seasonings still make a good showing. I taste them mostly on the surface, and then moving into the chewing the smoky natural meat flavor takes over.
Since this doesn't have the sweetness of the Sweet variety, the high saltiness tends scorch after eating several strips. And the spicy heat from the cajun seasonings tends to exacerbate that scorching. I find myself needing to take drinks.
It still has that light tanginess in the chew that I found in the Original variety.
Overall, what you're going to notice in this is a strong smoky natural meat flavor, but well countered by the cajun seasonings and a moderate amount of heat. There's also a high degree of saltiness.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced to medium thickness, and in strips of about 3-4 inches in length.
This is a dry jerky, with a slightly oily surface feel. The strips have some flexibility to them, but easily crack open with any amount of bending. Tearing pieces apart with my fingers seems easy enough, and chewing seems easy.
The chewing texture starts out feeling dry and coarse, but is soft enough that it chews down without much effort. It has some chewiness to it, but never gives my jaws a workout. Once chewed down to a soft mass, it takes a on a steak-like feel, very comparable to one cooked well-done.
I didn't find much of any fat on these strips as I did with the Original variety, I didn't find any gristle, tendon, and nothing stringy. I found no unchewable wads of tissue when chewing. It's very meaty.
As for clean eating, my finger tips pick up trace amounts of oil, but not as much as I found with the Original variety.
Crazy Horse Beef Jerky sells this Cajun variety online at a price of $26.99 for one pound. That price includes the shipping. That works out to a price of $1.69 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.69 per ounce price, it's a good value. I'm getting a good deal of snackability from this. That price is less than what you'd pay at the grocery store for the major brands of jerky, yet it's better in flavor, consistency, and chewing texture.
As a Cajun beef jerky, at the same $1.69 per ounce price, it's a decent value. I do get a good deal of cajun flavor and heat, though a seemingly salty one. Still, the price is still is low enough compared to the major brands, that I think you're getting your money's worth.
I'm giving this is a good rating.
This Cajun variety from Crazy Horse Beef Jerky gives off a good showing cajun flavor and a moderate amount of heat, along with the same great smoky natural meat flavor that they offer in all of their varieties.
It even has an excellent meat consistency being easy to tear apart and chew, and doesn't wear my jaw muscles out. It also has a nice steak-like chewing texture.
I didn't give it the higher "best" rating because the saltiness just got to me. Crazy Horse's jerky already has a higher salty flavor, and it wasn't too bad in the Original and Sweet varieties, but in this Cajun it seems even higher. I think the spiciness of the cajun seasonings and its heat exacerbates it and takes some of the snackability away.
Of the three varieties that Crazy Horse offers, I liked the Sweet the most. It's effectively the same as the Original, but with that added layer of sweet, which not only provides an extra flavor dimension, but also mitigates the saltiness and gives the flavor more body.
For my recommended beer pairing with this Cajun, go with something lighter and refreshing, try a cream ale like a St. Peter's Cream Ale.
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