The newest jerky variety from Oberto Sausage Co. is this Southern Style BBQ Pork Jerky. It first appeared on the market last year on a limited basis, and after successful response the company made it a permanent part of their line up.
Pork jerky seems to be a popular item with Oberto, as this is their second pork snack since I reviewed their Peppered Pork Jerky over a year ago.
Right now, this Southern Style BBQ Pork Jerky is available in select retail and convenience stores, including Costco stores in the Pacific Northwest. A company spokesman says this new variety will be hitting more Costco locations soon.
Pork, brown sugar, less than 2% salt, corn syrup, tomato paste, flavorings, molasses, pineapple juice concentrate, hydrolyzed soy protein, natural smoke flavor, vinegar, water, soy sauce, citric acid, caramel color, sodium nitrite.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a heavy sweetness, followed by quickly by a smoky flavor. A little bit of a saltiness starts showing up, while a faint garlic comes in.
The chewing flavor starts with bit more saltiness, but there's a light black pepper coming in. I can also pick up a BBQ sauce flavor, but more of a mild flavor. Mixed into the BBQ sauce is a very faint tanginess.
For being dubbed as "Southern Style BBQ Pork Jerky", I think this jerky holds itself up to that labeling. Albeit, I don't quite know how to define "southern style", but this definitely does have a BBQ sauce flavor to it. It's a very sweet BBQ sauce, but somewhat bland. It doesn't really have a bold flavor, and just a faint touch of tanginess. The black pepper seems to provide the only "kick" in the sauce.
This jerky also has a dominant smoke flavor, albeit coming from the natural smoke flavoring, but it adds to the BBQ quality, and I think is the one ingredient that really gives this jerky it's snackability.
The pork itself seems to have a light natural meat flavor. It's actually difficult to distinguish from the smokiness and the thick BBQ sauce flavor, but I want to say that I can identify a little bit of it.
There's also a noticeable garlic flavor in this, perhaps as part of the BBQ sauce.
The level of saltiness in this feels to be at a moderate level.
Overall, what you're going to notice in this is a very sweet BBQ sauce flavor, but a mild flavored one, with only a light black pepper flavor to provide any kind of bite, but with a noticeable garlic to give it a savory character. You'll also get a lot of smoky flavor, making it taste like a strip of pork straight out of the BBQ.
These appear to be slices of whole meat, sliced medium to thick, and in medium to large pieces.
This is a semi-moist jerky with a semi-moist, slightly sticky surface feel. The pieces have a fair amount of flexibility, and can be bent across the grain completely back on itself with minor cracking. They are very easy to tear apart with my fingers, and very easy to chew.
The chewing texture starts out feeling soft, tender, and moist. There's only a little bit of chewing resistance, and it seems to chew down to a soft mass very quickly. At that point, it tends to chew like a real piece of pork meat, comparable to like pork spare ribs, but maybe a tad more dry.
Most of these strips have small bits and streaks of fat on them, but they don't really add much to the flavor or chewing texture. I don't find any gristle or tendon, and nothing stringy. It's very meaty.
As for clean eating, there a fair amount of stickiness mixed with a bit of oiliness on my fingers, enough to require a licking and wiping before touching my keyboard.
Oberto sells this Southern Style BBQ Pork Jerky in various package sizes. At Costco you can get two 9oz packages at a cost of $10.99, which works out to a price of $0.61 per ounce. Amazon.com sells a 6-pack of 3.25oz packages for $29.54 with free shipping, which works out to $1.51 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.51 per ounce price, it's an excellent value. I'm getting a lot of snackability for a good overall flavor, good meat consistency, and good chewing texture. That price is lower than if you bought this at the grocery store, and yet offers a flavor and chewing much like many of the gourmet brands.
As a Southern Style BBQ Pork Jerky, at the $1.51 per ounce price, it's an excellent value as well. I'm getting a tasty BBQ flavor, albeit not very bold or spicy, but also a significant smoky flavor that really emphasizes the BBQ quality. There's even a light pork flavor.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Southern Style BBQ Pork Jerky from Oh Boy! Oberto offers up a delicious BBQ sauce flavor, with a well-noticeable smoky flavor that seems to mimic eating slow-roasted BBQ spare ribs. It even chews like BBQ spare ribs, albeit a tad more dry since we're talking jerky here. But as far as jerky goes, it's quite soft, tender, and moist.
But while I said it's a delicious BBQ flavor, I just find it somewhat toned down for the masses. It doesn't have any kind of bold, spicy, tangy flavor that I expect to find in BBQ pork. There's really only a light black pepper flavor and garlic to contrast the heavy sweetness. But the significant smokiness does a good job of recreating that fresh-off-the-rack, fall-off-the-bone, BBQ experience.
Overall, I found this quite snackable and wanted to keep eating more and more. And if you can manage to pick this up at Costco at the cheaper $0.61 per ounce price, you're getting an outstanding value for your jerky snacking dollar.
I think a good beer pairing for this is a lighter flavored and bodied ale, try the Fat Tire Amber Ale, or the Flying Dog Pale Ale.
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