Mama Mia's Beef Jerky is a new brand of jerky based out of Corona, CA, started by Mia Styles.
She credits her father, an avid meat smoker, for having made smoked meats for his family over the years. When a family friend tasted some of his jerky, he wanted to know how he could get more. From there, it spurned Mia into turning her dad's jerky into a business, and thus was born Mama Mia's Beef Jerky.
Presently the brand offers only this Original variety.
Beef, soy sauce, brown sugar, onion, garlic, black pepper, Tapatio Sauce, sodium nitrite.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light sweetness and a light smokiness. Shortly afterwards, a moderate saltiness comes through,
The chewing flavor starts with a natural meat flavor, a little stronger saltiness, and then and light bit of black pepper. Further into the chewing, I pick up a little tanginess, and a well-defined onion flavor comes through.
Of all the ingredients in this jerky, the flavor that seems to represent this jerky the most is the natural meat flavor. There's a little bit of a smokiness mixed into the meat along with a light sweetness. But as I continue to chew, that onion flavor starts to come in. There's also a lightly noticeable black pepper adding a touch of spice.
A light bit of garlic is barely noticeable against the stronger onion. The level of saltiness in this seems to be at a moderate level.
The Tapatio Sauce mentioned in the ingredients list is not well-defined on its own, but perhaps contributes to the saucy flavor this jerky has, and may even produce a light amount of heat. I actually don't pick up any heat, but there's enough flavor intensity in these strips of meat that folks who don't tolerate spicy foods could see this as having some.
Overall, it's a very flavorful jerky, marked mostly by the natural meat flavor mixed in with some smokiness and sweetness, and futher colored with a noticeable onion, a touch of garlic, and a light amount of black pepper. You'll even get a light bit of tanginess in the chewing.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into strips of medium thickness, and in lengths ranging from four to eight inches.
This is a semi-moist jerky with a semi-moist surface feel. The strips are very flexible. Biting off chunks seems easy to do, while chewing seems easy overall.
The chewing texture starts out feeling tender, moist, with just a light bit of initial chewing resistance. It chews down pretty easily and quickly to a soft mass. At that point, it has a steak-like feel, like that of one cooked medium.
I see small bits and streaks of fat in these strips, and they seem to add a light fatty flavor to the meat. I found no gristle or tendon, However, there is some stringiness noticeable in several of the strips, likely due to using beef brisket. For the most part, it doesn't present any chewing trouble, and overall feels rather meaty.
In terms of clean eating, my fingers pick up a light amount of residue and a faint stickiness, but nothing requiring licking or cleaning.
Mama Mia's Beef Jerky sells this jerky from their website at a price of $5.75 per 3oz package, if you buy ten packages. Shipping works out to $12.50 for a total price of $70.00. That works out to $2.34 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.34 price per ounce, it's a good value. I'm getting a good snackability from the good overall flavor, good meat consistency, and good chewing texture. That price is a little higher than what you'll pay at the grocery store for one of the major brands of jerky, but it seems like there's more snackability in this.
I'm giving this a good rating.
Mama Mia's Beef Jerky seems to generate a lot of snackability for me for its intense flavors, and complex flavors. There's plenty in here for my taste buds to analyze and enjoy, while providing an easy-to-eat consistency, and steak-like chewing texture.
I like the light bit of tanginess, and the onion flavor that comes through half-way into the chewing. I even like the light fatty flavor mixed into the meat flavors, and I like balance of flavors, the sweet, the salty, the spicy, the saucy.
But in context with the 240+ brands of jerky I've reviewed thus far, it doesn't quite have that eye-opening "wow factor" that I look for in a best-rated jerky. It's good, and very snackable, and definitely worth buying over the same old standby brands you find everywhere.
My recommended beer pairing for this, go with something refreshing to counter to heavier flavor of this jerky, try the Anchor Steam or the Stone Levitation.
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