People's Choice Beef Jerky is a brand of Peoples Sausage Company, Inc. based out of Los Angeles, CA. It's a family-run business that's been around since 1929 originally focusing on sausage, and then moving into restaurant distribution. It wasn't until recent years when the founder's grandson took over the business and branched into beef jerky.
Recently the company adopted new packaging and new brand imaging, and submitted this Original flavor as well as their Teriyaki for review. I had previously reviewed their Hot & Spicy and their Natural Angus Teriyaki.
They're also launching new 100% all beef sticks.
Beef, seasoning (sugar, spices, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, dehydrated garlic), sugar, soy sauce, water, liquid smoke, sodium nitrite.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a moderate sweetness followed quickly by the liquid smoke flavor. Not long after, a light saltiness comes in.
The chewing flavor starts with a black pepper flavor, and then just a touch more saltiness. I can pick up the garlic, and finally a weak natural meat flavor.
I'd say the flavor that seems to represent this jerky more than any other is the sweetness. It quickly takes over my palate when I first put a piece into my mouth, and continues all through the chewing. The black pepper is also very noticeable, dominating the back of my mouth.
After those two, it's a light saltiness along with a light garlic flavor, and a light but noticeable liquid smoke that seems to round out the flavors.
The natural meat flavor is ever so light in this. I wouldn't normally notice it if just snacking away.
Overall, what you're going to notice is a one-two punch of sugary sweet and spicy black pepper, then backed up by lighter flavors of salt, garlic, and liquid smoke, then faint notes of natural meat flavor.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into thin slabs, and in medium size pieces.
This is a dry jerky with a sticky surface feel. These slabs have a good deal of flexibility, with some being able to bend all the way back on themselves without cracking. Tearing slabs apart with my fingers seems easy to do, while chewing also seems easy.
The chewing texture starts out feeling soft and pliable, with a little bit of initial chewing resistance, but chews down fairly easily and quickly. Once down to a soft mass, it tends to feel meaty and fibrous, but more mushy, and slightly gummy than like a piece of steak.
I don't see any bits of fat on these slabs, but I do see streaks of gristle running through several, some of which are significant, and provide some chewing difficulty. I did not encounter any stringiness.
In terms of clean eating, my fingers pick up a fair amount of stickiness, and from that stickiness I get bits of black pepper, requiring a licking and wiping before touching my keyboard. Otherwise, no meat fragments falling off as I tear slabs apart.
People's Choice sells this Original variety from its website at a price of $24.00 for four 4oz packages. Shipping is free. That works out to a price of $1.50 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.50 per ounce price, it's a good value. I'm getting a decent amount of snackability for an overall snackable flavor, easy eating, and decent meat consistency. Compared to other major brands of jerky found in grocery stores, it's a better flavor but slightly less meat consistency. But because it's priced lower than those other brands, I think it's a better buy.
I'm giving this an average rating.
This Original variety from People's Choice Beef Jerky offers up a snackable and satisfying flavor that seems to strike a good balance between sweet, salty, and spicy, and then throws in little bit of garlic and liquid smoke flavor. Compared to original varieties of other major brands, I think it's a better flavor.
The meat consistency is easy to eat, but I didn't like the streaks of gristle I found in this. There's enough of in these slabs that it's not an oversight, but a policy to not trim the stuff off. Some of it was thin enough that I could get through with some chewing difficulty. But others were more thick that I could not chew through them and had to nibble them off the slabs and throw away.
Compared to the other 240+ brands of jerky I've reviewed thus far, there isn't anything in this that suggests its above average. It's a better flavor than the original varieties of major brands, but a slightly less meat consistency.
My recommended beer pairing for this, go for a lighter bodied pale ale to cut through the stronger sweet, and to quench the bite of the black pepper. Try the Anchor Steam or the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
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