Carnivore Candy is a brand of Boyd Specialties, LLC based out of Colton, CA. It was started by Robert Boyd along with his brother Jae last year using a recipe that's been in the Boyd family for a half-century.
They make their own jerky in their own USDA inspected facility enlisting the help of three-generations of family members, making the same jerky their grandfather made. Much of their jerky is sold at stores, fairs, and local events in the Inland Empire region of Southern California, as well as through their website.
Currently the company offers three flavors, this Original Peppered, a Barbecue Mesquite, and an Orange Teriyaki, which I'll be reviewing later on.
Beef, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, pepper, natural smoke flavor, salt, onion powder, natural flavor enhancer, garlic powder.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a meaty flavor, with a lightly noticeable black pepper flavor, and hints of worcestershire.
The chewing flavor is largely the same as the surface flavors, with the black pepper increasing its bite. There's perhaps just a faint bit more natural meat flavor.
For being named "Original Peppered", this definitely does have a dominant black pepper flavor that increases in strength as I continue to eat more pieces, creating a strong aftertaste in the back of my mouth. There's plenty of granulated pepper sprinkled all over these pieces.
But the flavor that seems to be most noticeable in this is a natural meat flavor that I found noticeable even on the surface of these pieces. Here and there I can pick up light bits of fatty flavor. The black pepper largely provides the spicy bite. Meanwhile, there's a light worcestershire sauce flavor going on, and that sauce provides a very light sweetness.
I can also pick up a touch of smokiness.
The level of saltiness in this feels to be at a moderate level, even though the nutrition facts shows a light sodium content.
Overall, what you're going to notice in this jerky is a natural meat flavor with a good deal of black pepper spiciness, and a light worcestershire marinade.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into strips of medium thickness, and in lengths ranging from one to three inches.
This is a dry jerky with a semi-moist surface feel. There's a lot of flexibility in these strips, but because they're sliced against the grain, they will easily crack open. Biting off chunks seems easy to do, while chewing seems overall easy with a little extra effort required here and there.
The chewing texture starts out feeling chewy, with some initial chewing resistance, but seems to break down without any laborious effort. Once chewed down to a soft mass, it feels very steak-like, comparable to one cooked medium-well.
I do see bits and streaks of fat on these strips, which do contribute additional flavor. I also encountered a fair amount of unchewable tissues, perhaps as tendon or gristle. However, the stringiness seems to be kept at a minimum.
In terms of clean eating, my fingers pick up some bits of black pepper, and I also get some black pepper falling off on to my lap as I bit chunks off.
Carnivore Candy sells their jerky online through their website. You can get their sampler pack for $45.00 which includes three packages of each flavor, nine packages in all. Shipping would come to $7.95 if delivered to Southern California, for a total of $52.95. That works out to $1.68 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.68 per ounce price, this seems to provide a good value. I'm getting a decent amount of snackability for an overall satisfying flavor, good chewing texture, though with a fair amount of unchewable tissues. Still, that's a little less than what you'd pay for major brands of jerky at the grocery store, and yet I think this offers a little better snackability.
I'm giving this an average rating.
This Original Peppered beef jerky from Carnivore Candy offers a nice snackability with a natural meat flavor, strong black pepper, and light worcestershire marinade, along with a steak-like chewing texture, though a fair amount of unchewable tissues from streaks of gristle.
Compared to the original flavors of the larger, national brands, this offers a little better flavor, mostly because it presents some natural meat flavors. But after that, I found a very common combination of worcestershire sauce and black pepper. Compared to gourmet brands of original jerky, I'm not finding anything above average.
However, I particularly liked the low sodium content, which should sit well with those managing their salt intake, and I also liked the strong peppery spice, which may present a strong burn for some.
My recommended beer pairing for this, definitely a nutty brown ale, perhaps the Rogue Hazelnut Brown, or the Abita Pecan Harvest Ale.
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