Next in the series on Wilderville's Country Beef Jerky is this Teriayki variety. See my previous reviews of their Original and Black Peppered beef jerky.
Wilderville's Country Beef Jerky is a small, USDA inspected meat processor based in Grants Pass, OR.
The company was started by Jim and Sally Lawson in August 2008 with the goal of making beef jerky that tastes great and is not hard to chew. Launching the new business allowed Jim to come off the road from long haul trucking after more than 30 years. The Lawsons sell their beef jerky at farmers markets and from their website.
Beef, marinate (water, wheat, soybeans, salt, wine, vinegar, brown sugar, onion, corn syrup, garlic, succinic acid, sodium benzoate)
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light meaty flavor and a light bit of saltiness. I can pick up a touch of sweet and a little bit of soy sauce.
The chewing flavor starts with a bit more sweet, and a more noticeable natural meat flavor. The soy sauce picks up some more definition.
For being labeled as a "Teriyaki" variety, this jerky holds up somewhat, but certainly not all that well. I can pick up very light amounts of teriyaki sauce, but it mostly tastes like a lightly sweetened soy sauce. Perhaps somewhere in the dehydration process the teriyaki sauce loses the subtle overtones that make all the difference between a good teriyaki jerky and a weak one.
For me, Teriyaki ought to have a thick sweetness, and I'm only getting a moderate sweetness at best. There should be a tangy component in the chewing coming from the sake or mirin wine, and I'm not tasting it. And there should be a light pungent spiciness coming from ginger, and that too is missing. What comes in really well is the soy sauce.
Otherwise, the flavors that seem to represent the overall taste is a combination of soy sauce and natural meat flavors, with a light to moderate sweetness. There's also a lightly oiliness on the surface of these pieces, and they seem to contribute to that flavor.
The saltiness in this feels to be at a moderate level.
Overall, it's a simple flavored jerky with a good deal of soy sauce, a well-noticeable natural meat flavor, with a light to moderate sweetness.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into strips ranging from two to six inches in length, and in thin slices.
It's a dry jerky, with a light oily surface feel. These strips are very flexible, bending all the way back on itself without cracking. Biting off chunks seems easy to do, while chewing also seems easy.
The chewing texture starts out feeling soft and tender. Just a few light chews and it breaks apart easily. It chews down to a soft mass with little effort, and at that point it has a meaty feel, but not really like a piece of steak. It's a little on the crumbly side.
I do see streaks of fat on several of these strips, but they don't seem to contribute any flavor, and they don't offer up any rubbery chewing. I didn't find any gristle or tendon, and only sparing amounts of stringiness, and nothing unchewable.
In terms of clean eating, these strips leave behind light amounts of oil on my fingers, enough to require licking and wiping before touching my keyboard.
Wilderville's Country Beef Jerky sells this Teriyaki variety from its website at a price of $6.00 for a 3.5oz package. If you bought 5 packages, the shipping comes to $7.50 if sent to Southern California. That works out to a price of $2.14 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.14 price per ounce, this seems to offer a fair value. I get an average amount of snackability for an overall satisfactory flavor, good meat consistency, easy eating, and average chewing texture. That price is a little bit higher than what I'd end up paying for a major brand of jerky at the grocery store, but offers a similar snackability.
As a Teriyaki beef jerky, at the same $2.14 price per ounce, it's a weak value. Considering that price is a little bit higher than the major brands of teriyaki jerky, you're not going to get any better teriyaki flavor, perhaps even less so depending on which specific brands we're comparing to.
I'm giving this an average rating.
This Teriyaki variety from Wilderville's Country Beef Jerky doesn't really put out a well-noticed, well-defined teriyaki flavor. It's more like a soy sauce flavor with a light to moderate sweetness. When I think of teriyaki, I think of the flavor highlights coming from sake, mirin wine, and ginger, and I don't taste any of that. Perhaps the dehydration process has removed much of those flavors, or the company ought to try boosting those ingredients.
Otherwise, the flavor seems rather simple, just sweetened soy sauce, and a natural meat flavor. Compared to the 230+ brands of jerky I've reviewed thus far, this one doesn't really stand out to me. It's still a satisfying flavor for snacking purposes however, and it's ease in chewing adds to the snackability.
For my recommended beer pairing, I'd go with one of the craft pilsners for the lighter flavor and body, such as the Samuel Adams Noble Pils.
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