Bacon Forever is a brand of Bacon Forever, LLC based in Kent, WA. It was started by Chris and Tina Lally.
Stemming from their love of bacon, the couple had created and sold t-shirts emblazoned with the words "Bacon Forever", and found some surprising success. It lead to a discussion of what other ways could they extend their bacon business boom, and somehow it lead to jerky.
The company offers four different flavors of bacon jerky, including this Smoky Original, along with a Flapjack, Backdraft, and Muddy Pig. This Smoky Original is described as "Crunchy & chewy textures (dry rub used) with a sweet & smoky flavor."
Bacon, chili powder, brown sugar, spice blend. Contains nitrates.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a bacon flavor, followed immediately by a sweetness, and then a smokiness. Some light chili powder flavor is noticeable.
The chewing flavors seems to continue on with the surface flavors, with maybe just a touch more bacon flavor.
For being dubbed "Smoky Original", this does in fact have a smoky flavor. It's not the most dominant flavor in this jerky, but it's noticeable.
It seems the flavor(s) that represent this bacon jerky the most is a combination of the sweet and chili powder. The sweet tends to hit me right away, while the chili powder takes awhile to build up. It's probably after the second or third piece I put into my mouth that the chili powder becomes more strong, and almost dominates this jerky entirely.
The bacon flavor is surprisingly mild and somewhat light. It's there, but not strong enough to become the focal point of this jerky. The bacon meat is not noticeable at all, it's mostly the bacon fat that I'm tasting. The sweet and chili powder ends generating much of the interest in this.
The saltiness actually seems light for bacon standards. For jerky standards, it's perhaps somewhere between light and moderate.
Overall, what you're going to notice in this is primarily a combination of the brown sugar and chili powder, with the brown sugar more noticeable initially, but with the chili powder becoming more dominant as you eat further into this. You'll pick up a moderate smokiness, and a light bacon flavor.
This appears to be strips of real bacon, but smaller in length perhaps due to dehydration, and sliced thick.
This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel. The strips are brittle, though still still retaining a little chewiness. Biting off chunks seems easy to do, while chewing seems easy as well.
The chewing texture starts out feeling brittle, but easily breaks apart with some chewing. It chews down to a soft mass pretty quickly without much effort. At that point, the bacon meat tends to feel crumbly, like coarsely ground meal. The bacon fat tends to feel mushy and greasy.
There's a good deal of fat on these strips, much like real bacon, but without the greasy, oily feel. There's nothing chewy, stringy or unchewable that I could find.
As for clean eating, it's mostly clean. I found little residue on my fingers, though some light bits of seasoning falling off as I bit off chunks.
Bacon Forever sells this Smoky Original variety at a price of $19.99 for a 6oz package. If you bought four packages, sent to Southern California, the total with shipping comes out to $89.24. That works out to $3.72 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $3.72 per ounce price, it's a weak value. I'm getting a decent amount of snackability for an overall good flavor, decent meat consistency, though lackluster chewing texture. Compared to major brands of jerky sold in grocery stores, this is far more expensive though doesn't offer any more snackability.
As a bacon jerky labeled, "Smoky Original", at the same $3.72 per ounce price, a good value. Compared to another brand of bacon jerky I reviewed over a year ago, it's a little less expensive, though doesn't quite provide the rich, intense, bacon flavor. However, this seems to be a better for snacking for its cleaner eating.
I'm giving this an average rating.
This Smoky Original bacon jerky from Bacon Forever certainly does offer a snackable flavor, mostly stemming from brown sugar and chili powder, but didn't seem to provide enough bacon flavor for me. There is indeed a bacon flavor in this, but it seemed to sit in the background while the brown sugar and chili powder took much of the attention.
I also found this a bit too brittle, and hence it tended to feel crumbly, much like coarsely ground meal when chewed. It didn't have that much of a bacon-like chewing texture.
Overall, I still found this enjoyable to eat with its combination of sweet, spicy, and smoky flavors. If you have a friend or family member that loves bacon (and don't we all?) this would make a great gift, and good departure from the tired-old gift certificates.
My recommended beer pairing for this, go with an Irish red ale like the Smithwicks or the Murphys Irish Red.
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