Last in the series on Cherry's Bad Ass Beef Jerky is this Cherryaki variety. Read my previous reviews of the Spicy and Mild varieties.
Cherry's Bad Ass Beef Jerky is run by Cherry Kelln of Dallas, TX. Cherry started making jerky several years ago and then after going jobless decided to make a business out of making jerky. It's a new business, with Cherry launching an e-commerce website only last June.
This Cherryaki is described as being "sweet, sassy, slightly chewy, and ultimately addictive!" It's topped with little pieces of soy-soaked pineapple.
None provided, but a blog post at Thrillist says she uses a marinade base of cayenne powder, worcestershire, soy, and liquid smoke.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light sweetness, followed by even lighter saltiness.
The chewing flavor starts with a touch more sweet, but a little more saltiness. There is a faint bit of a tanginess in there, but not quite like with the Mild and Spicy varieties. The soy sauce comes through slightly towards the end part of chewing.
For being labeled as "Cherryaki", which I presume is a teriyaki variety, it doesn't really have the kind of teriyaki flavor I would expect to get from a Japanese restaurant, but it does have a moderate sweetness and there is an easily noticeable soy sauce flavor that comes through towards the end.
I think the teriyaki flavor was originally, but this meat along with the way its sliced so thin and dehydrated to a crisp, perhaps eliminated some of the subtle flavors that define good teriyaki.
The chunks of pineapple on this do add a nice touch which I think really helps this jerky, and would love to get more of it. It kicks in a bit more sweet and tangy along with that dried-fruity chewing.
The natural meat flavor is all but lost in this jerky, though I can sense its influence on the teriyaki. I think the two are combining together to create a new flavor and at the same time cancelling out each other's subtleties.
Also, when I saw this jerky advertised on Cherry's website, I couldn't help thinking that it contained some kind of cherry flavor, but it appears that's just a play on the brand name. Still, cherry teriyaki would be bad ass.
The level of saltiness in this seems light.
Overall, what you're going to taste is a moderate sweetness throughout, with a noticeable soy sauce towards the end. It's not a well-defined teriyaki flavor by any means, and there isn't much of a natural meat flavor in this either as there were in the Mild and Spicy varieties. But there is indeed a flavor that perhaps resembles both that have merged together into a new flavor of its own.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced thin, and in medium to large slabs.
This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel. These slabs have been dried to a crisp such that they're brittle and crunchy. There actually is a little more flexibility these pieces than the Mild variety perhaps thanks to the sugar in the teriyaki. Biting off a chunk is very easy to do, while chewing is initially easy but tends to toughen up towards the end.
The chewing texture starts out feeling light, crispy and brittle, and thereby easy to chew down to a soft mass due to this jerky's thinly sliced slabs. But unlike with the Mild and Spicy varieties, this doesn't seem to compact into a more tough chew. Again, I think the extra sugar in this keeps the meat fibers loose and makes it easy to chew all the way through. But it still tends to have a crumbly, sawdust-like texture.
I do see a good deal of fat on most pieces and I also found significant streaks of gristle on many others. But due to how dry and crispy this jerky is the gristle didn't seem to create any rubbery chew.
In terms of clean eating, my fingers don't seem to pick up any residue though this jerky's brittle nature can drop some tiny meat fragments on my lap.
Cherry's Bad Ass Beef Jerky sells this Cherryaki variety from its website at a price of $15.00 for a 4oz package. I bought three packages, one of each flavor. Add to that shipping costs of $9.00 and it brings the total to $54.00 for 12oz of jerky. That works out to $4.50 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $4.50 per ounce price, it's a weak value. I actually do get a decent amount of snackability from this for its overall satisfactory flavor and crunchy chewing texture, that price is very high which requires this jerky to be so exceptionally good just to make a decent value. Compared to other brands, I've found better flavor and better meat for much less money.
As a teriyaki variety, at the same $4.50 per ounce, it's a poor value. I don't really see this as having an easily identified teriyaki flavor. And particularly at that price, I need an exceptionally awesome teriyaki flavor to justify that amount.
I'm giving this an average rating.
This Cherryaki variety from Cherry's Bad Ass Beef Jerky offers up a well-noticeable sweetness all throughout the chewing, and then some soy sauce flavor towards the end, but I just didn't feel it gave me an easily identifiable teriyaki flavor. I tend to think that this meat being sliced so thin and dehydrated to a crisp tends to substract out much of the complex flavors you find in authentic teriyaki sauce.
This has the same crispy-crunchy meat consistency as with the Mild and Spicy varieties, but I think the additional sugar in the teriyaki actually keeps this easy to chew all throughout. And even though this has the same abundance of gristle and fat as the other varieties, it doesn't wind up as rubbery as in the Spicy.
If I just evaluated this jerky for what it is and ignored that it's supposed to be teriyaki, it's actually pretty snackable. I think it has a better flavor than the Mild and Spicy, and the easier chewing increases the snackability. The addition of dried pineapple adds more "yum" to this and I'd like to see more of it on there.
My recommended beer pairing for this, I'd go with a red ale, something with a heavier malt flavor, and lighter on the hops, maybe like the Red Rocket Ale or the Red Trolley Ale.
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