Last in the series on Wilderville's Country Beef Jerky is this Red Pepper variety. See my previous reviews of their Original, Black Pepper, Teriyaki, and Black Pepper Teriyaki varieties.
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, distilled vinegar, salt, brown sugar, hydrolyzed soy and corn protein, corn syrup, garlic, onion, molasses, red and black pepper, anchovies, caramel coloring, and hickory smoke flavor added, tamarind and sodium benzoate).
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light saltiness, and then soon followed by a red pepper flavor. There's also a touch of sweet.
The chewing flavor starts with a bit more saltiness, along with a bit more sweet, and a light worcestershire flavor. There's a fair amount of heat from the red pepper building up.
For being labeled as a "Red Pepper" beef jerky, this definitely holds up well. I'm getting a lot of chile pepper flavor, and plenty of red pepper flakes covering these pieces. There's a fair amount of heat in this too, what I'd rank on my personal heat scale as "medium" (level 3 out of 5). I'm also getting that endorphin rush from the heat, and it creates a light bit of moisture on my scalp.
But the primary flavor of this jerky seems to be that sweetened worcestershire sauce, just as I found in the company's Original and Black Pepper varieties. For all intents and purposes, this tastes very much like the Original, but just has a lot of red pepper flavor and heat to go with it.
There's also a light natural meat flavor that comes while I'm chewing, but still taking a back seat to the worcestershire flavor.
The level of saltiness in this feels about the same as well, about medium.
I can also pick up that faint touch of onion seasoning in the chewing.
Overall what you're going to taste in this is mostly a light worcestershire sauce flavor with a light sweetness. The red pepper contributes a good deal of flavor and a medium level of heat. After that, there's touches of natural meat flavor and onion seasoning.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in small to medium sized strips.
This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel. The strips are cut against the grain, similar to the way beef brisket is cut. They have partial flexibility in that they'll bend a little bit but will will crack open easily. Biting chunks off is easy to do, and chewing seems easy.
The chewing texture starts off dry but soft, and seems to offer no chewing resistance. They break down very quickly and chew down to a soft mass with just little chewing. At that point, it has a meaty, fibrous feel, but not really like a grilled steak. The meat fibers don't mesh together and feel somewhat crumbly, perhaps due to how the strips are sliced, and how dry they are.
I see only small bits of fat on a few of these strips, but encountered no gristle or tendon. I didn't encounter any stringiness nor found any unchewable wads of tissue.
In terms of clean eating, my fingers don't pick up any residue, but there's some red pepper flakes falling off as I bite chunks off.
Wilderville's Country Beef Jerky sells this Red Pepper 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 good value. I get an good deal of snackability for an overall good 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 little better snackability.
As a Red Pepper beef jerky, at the same $2.14 per ounce price, it's a good value. I'm getting a lot of chile pepper flavor, and a lot of red pepper flakes, and a medium level of heat.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Red Pepper variety from Wilderville's Country Beef Jerky does a good job of providing a lot of red pepper flavor with a liberal dose of red pepper flakes and seeds. It generates a fair amount of heat, what I would consider medium level, though others less tolerance for hot foods might see it higher than that.
This jerky is actually quite comparable in flavor to the company's Original variety, and is likely the same recipe but with a lot of red pepper seasoning. But more importantly I'm getting a lot of that chile pepper flavor which combined with Wilderville's base jerky flavor, good meat consistency and easy eating, created a lot of snackability for me.
I should also say that I'm biased towards chile peppers, and get excited over a jerky that promises a lot of chile flavor and heat. But it's worth pointing out that there are many other brands that adverise "Red Pepper" but don't deliver much of that flavor. So when you do find a jerky that punches out the flavor it advertises, you feel pretty good about it.
My recommended beer pairing for this is a smoky porter. That darker roasted malt with its smokiness, should contrast well with the chile pepper flavor but yet compliment the lighter meat flavors in this. Try the Stone Smoked Porter or the Anchor Porter.
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