Next in the series on Longview Beef Jerky is this Sweet Chili variety. See my previous review of their Original beef jerky.
Longview Beef Jerky is a brand of Longview Meat & Merchandise Ltd., based out of Longview, Alberta, Canada. Their jerky is only available in retail outlets throughout Canada. The company has been making jerky for the past 30 years from Canadian grown cattle.
Jerky is becoming a popular snack throughout Alberta due to its rich cattle ranching history. And with many more Americans traveling there every July for the Calgary Stampede, Longview Beef Jerky wants to get some marketing here in the States.
Beef, spices, teriyaki sauce, sugar, marinade sauce, water, prague powder (salt, sodium nitrite), sodium erythorbate.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a fair amount of sweetness, then quickly followed by a chile pepper flavor, a touch of garlic & onion seasoning. Some saltiness starts coming in, along with some black pepper, and a light spicy heat.
The chewing flavor starts with a stronger saltiness from some of the marinade, then followed by more definition from the garlic & onion seasoning flavor. The heat gains intensity.
For being billed as "Sweet Chili", it seems to hold up well to that. I do get a thick sweetness that seems to last much of the way through the chewing. But I also get some chile pepper flavor and heat. The flavor is light and mostly noticeable on the surface of these pieces, but will provide a burst when my teeth bite into a chile pepper seed. The heat tends to build up to a medium level on my personal hot scale.
But the most noticeable flavor, at least what seems to represent the overall flavor of this jerky, is the garlic & onion seasoning. If you recall in my review of Longview's Original variety, that was the dominant flavor as well. The heavier sweet in this Sweet Chili variety seems to add more balance and body to the overall flavor, which I find more pleasing.
There's also a significant saltiness which I also found true in the Original variety. But again, I think the heavier sweet balances that out and makes it more tolerable.
I don't pick up any natural meat flavors.
The teriyaki and marinade sauce listed in the ingredients don't really stand out on their own, but seem to provide a faint saucy flavor in the chewing.
Overall, what you'll notice the most is the garlic & onion seasoning, with a high saltiness, but tempered by a thick sweetness. There's a chile pepper flavor that'll add a burst when you bite into a seed, along with a moderate amount of heat.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in small to medium sized pieces.
This is a semi-moist jerky with a wet, sticky surface feel. There's a good deal of flexibility in these pieces, bending almost all the way around without cracking. Tearing pieces apart with my fingers seems to easy to do. Chewing is also relatively easy.
The chewing texture starts out feeling soft and tender, with no chewing resistance. It seems to break down and chew down to a soft mass quite easily and quickly. At that point, it has a steak-like feel, but more soft, perhaps slightly mushy.
I don't find any chunks of fat in this review sample, nor do I see any gristle or tendon. The chewing doesn't reveal anything unchewable or crunchy, but I do find a fair amount of stringiness. The softer, moister consistency in this Sweet Chili seems to make it more tolerable than the drier Original variety.
In terms of clean eating, my fingertips pick up a lot of stickiness that requires a licking and wiping before touching my keyboard. I didn't find any fragments of meat flying off as I tore pieces.
Longview Beef Jerky retails for $5.98 Canadian Dollars in most stores throughout Canada, in a 80g (2.82oz) package. Under current US exchange rates, that's pretty much the same in US Dollars. That works out to $2.12 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.12 price per ounce (US or Canadian), it's a decent value. I'm getting a good deal of snackability for its good overall flavor, good meat consistency, and decent chewing texture. That price is slightly higher than what you'd expect to pay for a Jack Link's or Oberto jerky here in the USA, and yet offers more snackability.
As a "Sweet Chili" beef jerky, at the same $2.12 per ounce price, it's a good value. I'm getting a lot of sweetness, and a good deal of chile pepper flavor and heat. For that price, I think you'll get plenty of sweet chile flavor you're expecting to get.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Sweet Chili variety from Longview Beef Jerky does a pretty good job at living up to its advertised flavor, providing a thick sweet flavor and belting out a good combination of chile pepper flavor and heat.
It's a nice improvement on Longview's Original beef jerky, because the heavy sweetness seems to balance out the strong saltiness and strong garlic & onion seasoning. But I still don't find any natural meat flavors, thus reducing this jerky down to its marinades and seasonings. And just based on that alone, it's not a remarkable jerky when compared to all the other "sweet & hot/spicy" jerky brands I've reviewed.
But with a good overall flavor, and a decent meat consistency and chewing texture, it creates a lot of snackability that kept me reaching for more. If I could tweak something in the recipe, I'd tone down the saltiness.
My recommended beer pairing for this, go with a smoky porter. I think the smokiness will cleanse the palate somewhat and open the taste buds letting you get the full flavor of this jerky. Try the Stone Smoked Porter, or the Sierra Nevada Porter.
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