Next up in the series on Sturgis Beef Jerky is this Peppered variety. See my previous review of their Original variety.
Sturgis Beef Jerky is a brand of G&G Enterprises, Inc. based out of Sturgis, SD. The company original started in 1964 by the Gap family and over the years grew their brand by selling to local residents, ranchers, and many bikers who attend the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. They credit their loyal fans for helping them refine their recipe into what they currently sell today.
In 2002 they incorporated into G&G Enterprises, Inc. and now manufacture jerky in their own USDA inspected facility.
Beef, water, salt, spices, sugar, dextrose, garlic, sodium nitrite, propyl gallate, citric acid, BHT, spice extractives.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a salty flavor, and a slight black pepper flavor.
The chewing flavor starts with a strong black pepper flavor, followed by an increased saltiness. There's a faint bit of natural meat flavor noticeable.
For being labeled as a "Peppered" beef jerky, this stands up pretty well. I'm getting a strong black pepper flavor, along with plenty of cracked black pepper corns. It's the most dominant flavor of this jerky, hitting me immediately as I start chewing, and creating a strong aftertaste.
The saltiness is also a dominant flavor, providing what I would consider to be a high level of intensity. In fact, that high saltiness, combined with the strong black pepper flavor, creates a so much flavor intensity that it has me reaching for a drink after each piece.
The natural meat flavor is noticeable, though very light. It's mostly noticeable during the latter part of chewing.
Compared to the company's Original variety, I'm not tasting the faint amounts of oregano or rosemary. I wonder if the black pepper is strong enough that it counters those flavors, or if Sturgis Beef Jerky doesn't include them in this Peppered.
To summarize, what you'll taste in this is mostly a strong black pepper, with a strong saltiness, and a light bit of natural meat flavor.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into strips of medium thickness and in lengths of ranging from one to five inches.
This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel, but with a faint oiliness. Some strips can bend 180 degrees back on itself without cracking, while others will crack open at about 90 degrees or more. Biting chunks off are somewhat easy, while chewing is generally chewy, a bit laborious, but still not too tough.
The chewing texture starts out feeling stiff but not too hard. There's some initial chewing resistance, but it tends to break apart without any excessive chewing. Several chews later it gets down to a soft mass, and at that point it has a meaty, steak-like chewing texture, comparable to a steak cooked medium-well.
These strips appear to be very lean, with no visible signs of fat, no tendon or gristle. I do feel some stringiness, but it doesn't really get in the way nor produce any significant unchewable tissues.
In terms of clean eating, my fingertips pick up just a faint bit of oiliness, but still clean enough to type on my keyboard without any licking or wiping.
Sturgis Beef Jerky sells this Peppered variety from its website at a price of $7.95 for a 4.5oz package. If you bought four packages, with shipping out to Southern California, it totals up to $38.62. That works out to a price of $2.15 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.15 price per ounce, it seems to present a fair value. I'm getting an average amount of snackability for an overall satisfactory flavor, good meat consistency, good chewing texture. Compared to the major brands of jerky found in grocery stores, it's priced a little bit more, but doesn't seem to produce any better flavor, though a little bit better meat and chewing.
As a Peppered beef jerky, at the same $2.15 per ounce price, it's a decent value. I'm getting a lot of black pepper flavor, and plenty of cracked pepper bits.
I'm giving this an average rating.
This Peppered variety from Sturgis Beef Jerky generates a strong black pepper flavor giving the peppered jerky lover plenty of that sharp, pungent, spicy flavor. It also has a good meat consistency and chewing texture.
But aside from the black pepper flavor, the only other flavors I found was a strong saltiness, and a light natural meat flavor. That light oregano or rosemary I found in the company's Original variety, didn't seem to come through in this Peppered variety, perhaps due to the strong black pepper. As a result, this jerky ends up with a simple flavor not much different than many other peppered beef jerky brands I've reviewed.
The good meat consistency and good chewing texture are perhaps this jerky's most positive attributes, but I find the strong saltiness combined with the strong black pepper to create so much flavor intensity, that it leaves my mouth scorched and reaching for a soothing drink of water.
My recommended beer pairing for this, go with a maltier, more refreshing brew. Try the Newcastle Brown Ale, or Widmer's Drifter Pale Ale.
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