Next in the series on Cedar Creek Beef Jerky is this Teriyaki variety. See my previous reviews of their Peppered beef jerky, Hot beef jerky, and Original beef jerky.
Cedar Creek Beef Jerky is based out of El Dorado Springs, MO. The company was started in 1990 by Terrance M. Ebeltoft who died last year. It's now owned by his wife, and ran by his wife's son. The company makes jerky in its own USDA approved facility, uses home made ovens.
Cedar Creek says they make jerky in "the foothills of the Missouri Ozark Mountains", using only locally produced beef, or beef produced in the USA. The company claims they, "literally make their jerky one piece at a time.
Beef, sugar, water, cayenne red pepper, salt, wine, toasted sesame oil, liquid smoke, spices and flavoring, molasses, high fructose corn syrup, wheat, soybean, chili pepper, sesame seed, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, vinegar, succinic acid, monosodium glutamate, soy concentrate, vegetable (onion, garlic, shallot, celery, tomato), red bell pepper, anchovies, hydrolyzed soy and corn protein, sodium benzoate.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a lot of sweetness, and little else.
The chewing flavor starts with an increased sweetness, with a bit of tanginess mixed in, and then there seems to be a faint sesame flavor, and then a faint garlic.
For being dubbed "Teriyaki", it doesn't really have the teriyaki flavor that I'm accustomed to having at Japanese restaurants here in Southern California. This largely just tastes sweet. It's hard to find the soy sauce flavor, nor any kind of tangy and pungent qualities that authentic teriyaki sauce offers.
It's a strong sweetness that seems to dominate the overall flavor of this jerky. If you just snack away on this without analyzing the flavor like I'm doing here, that's all you'll really taste.
But like I said above, there seems to be just faint touches of sesame flavor, and then just a faint bit of garlic. Despite the ingredients list being chock full of stuff, it's hard to pick any of it out.
I don't pick up a natural meat flavor, but I do pick up a fatty flavor.
I think the sweetness is heavy enough that it tends to mask out much of the other ingredients.
Even the saltiness feels like its at a low level.
Overall, what you're going to taste in this is a heavy sweetness, with just a touch of tanginess in the chewing, and then only faint bits of sesame flavor and garlic. You won't get a meat flavor, but you will pick up some fatty flavor.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in small pieces.
This is a dry jerky, having a dry surface feel, but with a touch of stickiness. The heavy sweetness seems to have given this jerky a lot of flexibility, almost like soft pliable rubber. Biting off a piece requires a bit of effort, while chewing seems moderately easy.
The chewing texture starts out feeling soft and pliable, with a fair amount of rubbery chewing resistance. With about 10-15 seconds of chewing, it seems to chew down to a soft mass. At that point, it feels gummy, perhaps from all the sugary sweetness.
Some pieces have some streaks of fat on them, but I didn't find any gristle or tendon. I did find some unchewable wads of tissue in these pieces, but nothing problematic.
It's also pretty clean eating. Despite the heavy sweetness, and slightly sticky surface, my fingers don't pick up any residue, and I don't see any fragments of meat falling off.
Cedar Creek Beef Jerky sells this Teriyaki beef jerky at a price of $36.00 for two pounds. The shipping is included. That works out to a price of $1.13 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.13 per ounce price, it's a fair value. I don't really get much snackability due to mostly just a sweet flavor, and little else, and a rather gummy chewing texture. That price is a lot cheaper than what you'd pay for major labels of jerky at the grocery store, but yet I think this offers a little less snackability.
As a Teriyaki beef jerky, at the same $1.13 price per ounce, it's a weak value. I don't really see this as teriyaki, but as just a lot of sweet. I'm not getting the soy sauce flavor, just a touch of tanginess, and a faint trace of pungent garlic. Not that the major jerky brands are any better, they're not actually. But there's a lot of gourmet brands that are.
I'm giving this a fair rating.
This Teriyaki variety from Cedar Creek Beef Jerky doesn't seem to provide an authentic teriyaki flavor much like what you'd find in the higher end Japanese restaurants. It's really just a lot of sweet, and little else. I don't identify any soy sauce flavor, while the tangy and pungent contrasts are too light and faint.
And I don't pick up any natural meat flavors like I was able to do with the company's Hot and Peppered varieties. If anything, I only found a light fatty flavor in the pieces that contained some fat.
On top of that, the chewing texture is largely just gummy perhaps due to the heavy sweetness.
For my recommended beer pairing, I'd suggest a standard IPA. Try the Stone IPA or the Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA.
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