Next in the series on Steve's Original is this Coconut Pineapple Paleokit. See my previous review of their "Just Jerky".
Steve's Original is the creation of Steve Liberati, the founder of Steve's Club, a fitness center for disadvantaged youth. Steve's Club was started in Camden, NJ to teach kids about health and fitness, and keep them off the streets.
The "Paleokit" is his flagship product, a mixture of jerky, nuts, and fruit based on the Paleo Diet, a concept in eating foods consumed in the paleolithic era when humans just hunted and gathered. The beef comes from grass-fed and free-range cattle.
Beef Jerky (beef, sea salt, paprika, pineapple juice concentrate, apple juice concentrate, spices, garlic powder, beet powder, ascorbic acid), dried organic pineapple, dried organic cococut chips.
For the record, I'm starting out with just a piece of jerky, and no coconut or pineapple attached.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is an oily flavor, followed by a saltiness, and a touch of black pepper.
The chewing flavor starts with maybe a touch of coconut flavor, with a slight natural meat flavor, and some of the garlic along with black pepper. There's a stronger saltiness.
But when I eat a piece of jerky with chips of coconut and a chunk of pineapple thrown in, I get a even mixture of all three, a more defined, fresh coconut flavor, and a very sweet, tangy pineapple flavor.
For being dubbed as "Coconut Pineapple", this certainly fills that bill. I get a lot of coconut flavor and pineapple flavor, particularly of course when eating the coconut chips and pineapple chunks together with the jerky.
But when eating only the beef jerky, I don't get much of the coconut and pineapple flavors. I can taste a slight bit of the pineapple, perhaps as part of the pineapple juice concentrate, and only a touch of coconut.
When eating just the coconut chips, I tend to get some of the oily flavor from the meat. Some of the chips are white, which give off a fresh coconut flavor. The others are orange, having picked up the meat oils, and end up losing much of its natural flavor. The dried pineapple chunks are all very flavorful, tangy and sweet, more like fresh pineapple.
Overall, what you're going to taste in the jerky itself is much like with what I found in the company's "Just Jerky", an oily flavor, some light natural meat flavors, and a light touch of garlic and black pepper. The coconut chips and dried pineapple chunks are flavor flavorful, and are perhaps the most interesting part of this Paleokit.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into bite sized pieces with a medium thickness. The coconut are in medium sized shavings, while the pineapple comes in small chunks.
This a dry jerky with an oily surface feel. The pieces have a lot of flexibility, and are quite chewy. Overall, ease of chewing seems moderate, somewhere between easy and tough.
The chewing texture starts out with a fair amount of initial chewing resistance, and take several chews to get down to a soft mass. At that point, it feels just like a eating a grilled steak cooked well done.
I don't see any fat on these pieces, and no visible signs of gristle or tendon. But I do find a lot of stringiness, and some of that tends to render down to an unchewable wad of tissue.
As for clean eating, it's not. I'm getting a lot of oily and sticky residue on my fingers from pulling pieces of meat, pineapple and coconut apart, just to eat together. Each handling requires a licking and wiping before touching my keyboard.
Steve's Original sells this Coconut Pineapple Paleokit from its website at a price of $19.75 for five packages, with each package weighing 4.3oz. Add to that shipping of $9.62 for delivery into Southern California, and it comes to a total of $29.37. That works out to $1.37 per ounce.
For general beef jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.37 per ounce price, it's a decent value. I'm getting an average snackability for an overall satisfactory flavor, an average meat consistency, and good chewing texture. That price is considerably lower than what you'll pay for the major brands of jerky at the grocery store, yet seems to offer a comparable snackability.
But as a coconut pineapple beef jerky combo, at the same $1.37 per ounce price, it's a good value. There's plenty of coconut and pineapple pieces in this, and if you throw in some of those pieces with the meat, you get a lot of coconut and pineapple flavor that seems to make it a better snack altogether.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Coconut Pineapple Paleokit from Steve's Original is much like the company's Just Jerky, but with plenty of coconut chips and some dried pineapple thrown in. The coconut and pineapple don't really inject their flavors into the meat all that much. But when I picked up several coconut chips and a pineapple chunk and ate them with the meat, I got an even blend of jerky, coconut and pineapple.
And that conglomeration of flavor, when eaten that way, creates a very delicious, tropical flavor, that I think is worthy of a such a rating. The jerky itself is not really all that exciting. It doesn't really have a lot of flavor on its own, and is rather oily. In fact, the stickiness of the pineapple, when combined with the oiliness of the meat, makes for rather messy handling. I think it would improve the snackability if it could keep the all the coconut and pineapple flavor without being so sticky and oily.
The coconut and pineapple pieces on their own have a fresh flavor. The pineapple itself tastes more like fresh pineapple, very tangy and sweet, and not at all like the heavily sugared dried pineapple you tend to find most places. But I found the heavy oils from the meat leaching into the coconut and negating much of its flavor.
But overall, as a sport snack, this Coconut Pineapple Paleokit seems to offer a good value. Giving you what is effectively a meat snack with plenty of fresh coconut and pineapple flavors, at a price much lower than what you'd pay for regular beef jerky.
I think a good beer pairing for this is a fruity beer like the Pyramid Apricot Ale, or the Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat.
Buy this online: