Next in the series on Golden Valley Meat Snacks is this Black Pepper variety. See my previous reviews of their Original, Original Ripple Cut, and Black Pepper varieties.
Golden Valley Meat Snacks is a new line of jerky from Intermountain Natural, LLC based out of Idaho Falls, ID. They also make the Golden Valley Natural line of jerky, and are a major private labeler of jerky for stores like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market.
This line of jerky is not a natural or organic jerky like their Golden Valley Natural line, but appears targeted to compete against national brands like Jack Link's and Oberto.
Beef, sugar, water, soy sauce (water, wheat, soybeans, salt), flavorings, apple cider vinegar, salt, paprika, smoke flavoring.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a moderate sweetness, and a light chile pepper flavor. There's also a faint bit of saltiness noticeable.
The chewing flavor starts with a slightly stronger chile pepper flavor, a stronger sweet, and a little more saltiness. Some light chile pepper heat starts coming in.
For being marketed as "Sweet N' Spicy", this seems to hold up. It certainly has a well-noticeable sweetness all throughout the chewing, and I do pick up some chile pepper heat and flavor.
It's not really that hot however. On my personal hot scale, this seems to be at a medium level (level 3 out of 5).
The ingredient that seems to dominate the flavor of this jerky is the sweetness. But there's also the flavor of paprika and chile pepper that's quite noticeable too. But I want to say the sweet is still more dominant.
I'm not tasting any natural meat flavors in this.
The level of saltiness in this feels to be at a low to medium level.
Overall, what you're going to notice in this is primarily a medium-level sweetness lsating much of the way through the chewing, and then a good deal of paprika and chile pepper, along with a medium degree of chile pepper heat.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced thin, and in small to medium sized pieces.
This is a dry jerky with semi-moist surface feel. Unlike the Original, Original Ripple Cut, and Black Pepper varieties I reviewed earlier, this doesn't have the light surface feel, and this feels more soft and flexible. Tearing pieces apart with my fingers is easy to do, and chewing seems somewhat easy.
The chewing texture starts out feeling soft and tender, and presents only a light amount of chewing resistance. Chewing these down to a soft mass seems easy and quick enough to do. And that at point, it has a meaty feel, but not really steak-like, it's somewhat mushy, and slightly gummy.
Some pieces have visible chunks of fat, but I found no streaks of gristle or tendon. There's a little bit of stringiness, but nothing resulting in an unchewable wad of tissue.
It's somewhat clean eating, though my fingers pick up a fine dusting of chile powder. Otherwise, no meat fragments falling on my lap.
This Sweet N' Spicy variety is distributing to stores across the country and will likely be priced about $5.99 per 3.25oz package. That would work out to a price of $1.84 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.84 per ounce price, it seems to present a decent value. I'm getting an average level of snackability for an overall satisfactory flavor, a satisfactory meat consistency and average chewing texture. Compared to the major brands of jerky at the same price, this seems to provide a comparable flavor and snackability.
As a Sweet N' Spicy beef jerky, at the same $1.84 per ounce price, it's a good value. I'm getting a good deal of sweetness and a fair amount of spiciness all throughout eating this.
I'm giving this an average rating.
This Sweet N' Spicy beef jerky from Golden Valley Meat Snacks seems to live up to its advertised flavor well enough, with a stronger sweetness than a spiciness. It's rather simplistic in flavor, giving you only the sweet and spiciness, and not much else. Even the saltiness in this feels somewhat low.
Otherwise, compared to all the other sweet n' spicy jerky brands I've had, this doesn't really stand out. It seems to give out a satisfactory snackability, much like what you'd get in all the other major brands, but nothing more.
Interestingly, Intermountain Natural says this new line of Golden Valley Meat Snacks Jerky is supposed to have a higher salt profile than its line of all natural and organic jerky. Yet this Sweet N' Spicy jerky doesn't feel at all as salty as the other flavors in this line. It ends up tasting much like the company's all natural jerky.
My recommended beer pairing for this, go with a simple IPA, try the Stone IPA or the Sierra Nevada Torpedo.
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