Monday, February 7, 2011

Jeff's Gourmet Jerky - Orange-A-Peel

jeffs gourmet jerkyThe newest flavor from Jeff's Gourmet Jerky is this Orange-A-Peel. It's described as a mild, but spicy sweet orange peel marinade, then slow cooked to Jeff's standards of excellence.

See my previous reviews of Jeff's Gourmet Jerky varieties here: http://www.bestbeefjerky.org/search/ label/Jeffs-Gourmet-Jerky

Jeff's Gourmet Jerky is a brand owned and operated by Jeff Richards, out of Big Bear City, CA. Jeff has been making beef jerky since the 1970s. His love for cooking took him into the restaurant business for over 20 years. In 2006 he started working on creating his own beef jerky brand, and just last year saw the launch of his new company.

Ingredients

Beef, soy sauce, orange marmalade, orange juice, worcestershire sauce, chili sauce, sugar, ketchup, vinegar, spices, natural smoke flavor, sesame oil

Taste

The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a heavy sweetness. A few seconds later, a light orange zest is noticeable.

The chewing flavor starts with a tangy, fruit flavor. There's a saucy flavor noticeable too, and a light bit of saltiness. I can identify a little bit of natural meat flavor, and just a touch of spiciness can be picked up.

For being labeled, "Orange-A-Peel", this does have a light bit of orange zest flavor that seems most noticeable in the first several chews. It has a lot of tanginess in the chewing and an overall fruity character.

And that heavily sweet, tangy, fruit flavor seems to be the dominant flavor of this jerky. The orange zest is more light, but still strong enough to provide a light pungent contrast. There's also a light bit spiciness throughout my mouth, but not enough to generate any heat. Then there's a "saucy" flavor, to create something of a marinade flavor.

The natural meat flavors are light in this. Some of these pieces have a fair amount of fat mixed in and provides that fatty flavor.

The saltiness in this seems to be at a medium level of intensity.

What you're going to notice is largely a heavily sweet, but tangy, fruity flavor, contrasted by a lightly sharp orange zest flavor. You'll get a saucy flavor (mixture of soy sauce, worcestershire), a light natural meat flavor with bursts of fatty flavor here and there, and finally a light spicy bite.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced into strips varying from 3 to 8 inches long, and sliced to a medium thickness.

This is a semi-moist jerky, with a sticky surface feel. These strips are very soft, and very flexible. It's easy to bite off chunks, and chewing is very easy.

The chewing texture starts off feeling soft and tender with no chewing resistance. It seems to only take about 10 seconds before it's rendered into a soft mass. At that point, it has a steak-like feel, but more soft, and not necessarily mushy.

Most of these strips have noticeable streaks of fat, mostly as marbilized fat. I don't see any tendon or gristle, but I do get a good deal of stringiness, and some of that stringiness remains in my mouth as unchewable wads of tissue.

As for clean eating, my fingers pick up a sticky surface feel, that requires a little bit of licking and wiping before touching my keyboard.

orange beef jerky

orange peel beef jerky
Snack Value

Jeff's Gourmet Jerky sells this Orange-A-Peel variety from it's website at a price of $20.95 for a 3 pack, with each package at 3oz. Add to that shipping of $6.50, and it works out to a price of $3.05 per ounce. Note, you can also get that price down to as low as $2.08 per ounce if you subscribe to the company's "Jerky Every Month" program.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $3.05 per ounce price, it's a decent value. I actually get a lot of snackability for an excellent overall flavor, good meat consistency and good chewing texture. That price is a lot higher than what you pay for major brands of jerky in grocery stores, but it's a much better flavor and meat consistency.

As an orange-flavored beef jerky, it's a fair value. I do get a light amount of orange zest flavor, along with a sweet, tangy, fruity flavor, though it comes at a high $3.05 per ounce price. The market doesn't offer many choices in orange flavored beef jerky, so it's difficult to compare value.

Rating

jeffs gourmet jerky nutritionI'm giving this a best rating.

This Orange-A-Peel variety from Jeff's Gourmet Jerky seems to deliver on its namesake, delivering lots of sweet, tangy, fruit flavor with a light pungent contrast of orange zest.

I like the tanginess in the chewing, it livens up the flavor. I also like the light spiciness, and the saucy flavor, and I like that it's not heavily salty. I was only able to get a light natural meat flavor, though with some added fatty flavor where there were streaks of fat in the meat. And the meat consistency seems great, easy to eat, semi-moist, but still chews like eating a real steak.

This jerky has a well-balanced flavor, giving me a saucy marinade, with a sweet, tangy, fruity body, a light pungent orange zest to contrast that body, and a light spiciness to perk things up a bit.

My recommended beer pairing for this, go with a hefeweizen or wheat beer, try the Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat, or Kona Brewing's Wailua Wheat.

Rating: Best

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