Next in the series on Halal Jerky is this Teriyaki variety. See last week's review of their Original flavor.
Halal Jerky is a brand of Halal Jerky, LLC based out of Corona, CA. It's a new brand having launched in February 2010.
The name "halal" refers to any product or activity that's in compliance with Islamic Law. In the case of meats, animals must be "zabihah", which is a specific method and ritual in which animals are slaughtered. The folks at Halal Jerky, LLC claim that they have personally inspected the way in which cattle have been slaughtered, and their packaging carries a Zabihah stamp.
Beef, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, spices, liquid smoke, sodium nitrite.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a moderate sweetness, followed by a light saltiness and light smokiness. A light soy sauce flavor ensues later on.
The chewing flavors start with some natural meat flavors, along with a bit more saltiness.
As for being labeled as Teriyaki, this doesn't really punch out much of a teriyaki flavor. I'm getting the sweetness, and I'm getting a light soy sauce flavor, but that's it. Normally, real teriyaki sauce includes a tangy character from sake or mirin wine, along with a pungent contrast from ginger or garlic. I'm not getting any of those. This seems to taste more like the company's Original variety, but with more sugar thrown into it.
Otherwise, the ingredient that seems to generate the primary flavor of this jerky are the natural meat flavors. It's very much like with the Original variety, where it's a mixture of meat flavors and fat. But whereas in the Original variety the meat flavors were quickly overcome by a saltiness and soy sauce flavor, here they seem to last longer. I think the heavier sweetness has mitigated the saltiness.
And I think the heavier sweetness has also trapped more of the liquid smoke, because this seems to have a slightly more noticeable smoky flavor.
The level of saltiness in this feels to be at a moderate level.
Overall what you're going to notice in this is a moderate amount of natural meat flavors mixed with a fatty flavor, a good deal of sweet, and a light soy sauce flavor. It doesn't really strike me as teriyaki, but more like a sweetened up version of the company's Original variety.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into thin slabs, and in small, medium, and large sizes.
This is a dry jerky, with a lightly sticky surface feel. The slabs are very flexible, able to bend a full 180 degrees back on itself with only a little cracking. It's somewhat easy to tear apart with my fingers, and chewing seems chewy, and slightly labored.
The chewing texture starts out feeling stiff, with a fair amount of initial chewing resistance. The heavier dose of sugar seems to have changed the consistency significantly from the company's Original variety, making it more chewy, and gummy. Once it's chewed down to a soft mass, most of that gumminess is gone, and it tends to have a meaty texture, but not quite as steak-like as the Original variety. It's still a soft chew at this point, but not really resembling a piece of steak.
These slabs are well marbleized with fat, and they do add a fatty flavor to the chew. I don't see any streaks of gristle in this review sample, but I did of course find them in the Original variety. I am however, still finding a good deal of stringiness, some of which resulting in unchewable wads of tissue.
As for clean eating, I'm getting only a light bit of stickiness on my fingertips, but still dry enough that I can type on my keyboard.
Halal Jerky sells this Teriyaki variety from its Amazon store at a price of $5.99 for a 3oz package. They offer free shipping for orders of $25.00 or more. If you ordered five packages, it would work out to a price of $2.00 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.00 per ounce price, it seems to provide a fair value. I'm getting an average snackability for a satisfying flavor, somewhat easy eating, though a less-than exciting chewing texture. Compared to major brands of jerky you'd find at the grocery store, it's about the same in snackability.
As a Teriyaki beef jerky, at the same $2.00 per ounce price, it's a weak value. I don't really perceive this as having a teriyaki flavor, it's seems more like the company's Original variety, but they just threw more sugar on it and called it Teriyaki.
I'm giving this an average rating.
This Teriyaki beef jerky from Halal Jerky doesn't really offer up much of a teriyaki flavor, but rather it tastes more like a sweetened up version of their Original variety. If you're just looking for a more sweetened beef jerky, and not necessarily a teriyaki sauce like you'd expect to get from a Japanese restaurant, this will certainly give you that, and do it in a Zabihah certified product.
The heavier dose of sugar in this seems to have changed the meat consistency in that it's stickier, and as a result has made the meat more chewy than the Original variety, and tends to chew with some gumminess. It doesn't quite have the steak-like chewing that the Original has.
But overall, this still seems snackable in that I found myself reaching for more, just like with a bag of potato chips. And that being said, this seems to do its job as a snack food, and seems worthy of no less than an average rating.
My recommended beer pairing for this, I'd go with an IPA, to cut through the heavier sweetness. Try the Stone IPA or the Sierra Nevada Torpedo.
Buy this online: