Next in the series on Papa Dan's Beef Jerky is this Teriyaki variety. See my previous reviews of their Carne Asada, Ring of Fire, Old Fashioned, Sweet N' Hot, and Real Backyard BBQ varieties.
Papa Dan's is a brand of Batistelli Foods, based in Fullerton, CA. The brand was started by David Batistelli along with his father in 1988. At one time Papa Dan's was manufactured in its own USDA facility, but is now produced by Monrovia, CA-based TM Jerky & Processing, which coincidentally now owns Papa Dan's old manufacturing facility.
This Teriyaki variety is actually the last of the varieties I have to review for Papa Dan's, unless they sent me more flavors. They actually have more flavors that I haven't reviewed.
Beef, brown sugar, teriyaki sauce, seasoning [salt, brown sugar, maple sugar, sodium nitrite (.008#)], vinegar, granulated garlic, sodium nitrite.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a teriyaki sauce flavor with its associated sweetness and saltiness.
The chewing flavor starts with the same teriyaki sauce flavor, but with a bit more more definition with the soy sauce, and subsequently, a bit more saltiness.
For being labeled as a Teriyaki beef jerky, this seems to hold up fine. It has a heavy sweetness, which I feel is an important characteristic of teriyaki, and it does have an easily noticeable soy sauce flavor. I can also taste faint amounts of that vinegar, which in this case is being used in lieu of sake or mirin wine. But I don't really get any of the ginger component. Yet overall I think this teriyaki sauce does a decent job of reflecting real teriyaki sauce instead of the sweetened soy sauce that some other jerky brands tend to do.
The teriyaki sauce is also the flavor that represents this jerky the most. It starts out first with that initial burst of sweet, but seconds later the soy sauce comes in and takes over the palate. The teriyaki tends to be heavier on the soy sauce flavor, and its associated saltiness tends to feel a bit more heavy than the teriyaki sauces you get at a Japanese restaurant.
To me, the saltiness in this feels to be somewhere between a medium and high level.
But after that, there isn't much else going on in this jerky. I don't pick up any natural meat flavors. The garlic is very subtle.
These are strips of whole meat, sliced thick and in lengths of three to eight inches.
This is a semi-moist jerky with a sticky-oily surface feel. They have fair amount of flexibility, being a good deal with minimal cracking. Biting off chunks require a little effort, while chewing seems easy overall.
The chewing texture starts off feeling pliable, but a little chewy, with a little bit of chewing resistance. After a few chews, it starts breaking down quickly, and it doesn't take much effort to chew down to a soft mass. At that point, it has a meaty, steak-like feel, cooked medium-rare.
Several of these strips have small bits of fat on them, but don't seem to contribute much flavor. I feel quite a bit of stringiness in these strips, along with a few harder, unchewable tissues. I also found pieces of tendon in some strips.
In terms of clean eating, handling each strips leaves behind enough oil and stickiness to require a licking and wiping.
Papa Dan's sells this Teriyaki variety from its website at a price of $23.99 for two 8oz packages. Add to that $7.56 for shipping to Southern California, and it totals out to $31.55. That's works out to be $1.97 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.97 per ounce price, it's a decent value. I'm getting a basic level of snackability for an average flavor, easy eating, average meat consistency and decent chewing texture. That price is about what you'd pay for the major brands of jerky at the grocery store, and seems to provide the same snackability.
As a Teriyaki beef jerky, at the same $1.97 per ounce price, it's a good value. I'm getting a flavor that seems more closer to what I consider real teriyaki sauce, though still lacking the light pungent component that I like. But I think this is still better than many of the major brands of teriyaki jerky.
I'm giving this an average rating.
This Teriyaki variety from Papa Dan's Beef Jerky provides a teriyaki flavor that I think is a little more close to what I consider to be real teriyaki sauce, providing a little more of the subtle flavor overtones that set it apart from the sweetened soy sauces that some other teriyaki jerky brands tend to settle with.
But compared to all other teriyaki jerky brands I've reviewed, it's still not one of the better ones. This one tends to be heavier on the soy sauce component, which in turn gives it higher saltiness, and it's missing that light ginger spice that most Japanese restaurants put into their teriyaki. But it has the heavy sweetness, and even a faint vinegar flavor in lieu of the sake.
After that, there's isn't much else going on with this jerky. No black pepper, no other spiciness, no natural meat flavors, no smokiness. And the meat contains a lot of stringiness, some tendon, and other unchewable tissues. What you have a decent teriyaki flavor, but offset by little else to taste, and a lackluster chewing.
My recommended beer pairing for this, go with a simple IPA, where the heavy hops will cleanse the palate and bring out those subtle flavors in the teriyaki, but still has a refreshing quality to quench the saltiness. Try the New Belgium Ranger IPA, or the Stone IPA.
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