Next in the series on Bacon Forever is this Backdraft variety, dubbed "Spicy" on the package. See my previous review of their Smoky Original.
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.
This Backdraft variety is the company's hottest, made with cayenne pepper and red chile flakes.
Bacon (Hempler's brand), cayenne sauce blend, smoke flavoring, chili flakes, sodium nitrate (to preserve freshness, used during curing process.)
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is the flavor of cayenne pepper and chile flakes. There is a noticeable smokiness, and a light sweetness too.
The chewing flavor brings in more of the bacon flavor while the cayenne and chile flakes becomes more defined. I can actually pick up some vinegar in the cayenne sauce blend. I also want to say I can pick up a light maple syrup inside the bacon.
For being dubbed "Backdraft", with suggestion that your mouth is going to get set on fire, it seems to hold up. I do get a good deal of heat out of this, what I would rate as medium-hot (level 4 out of 5). I also pick up the flavors of cayenne and chile peppers.
The flavor that seems to come out of this jerky the most is a balance between the cayenne sauce blend and the bacon flavor. The cayenne sauce has the cayenne flavor plus vinegar, comparable to Tabasco Sauce. The bacon flavor has that smoky bacon flavor that we all know and love, but there seems to be a light sweet, maple syrup flavor inside.
The level of saltiness in this feel to be medium-high.
Overall, what you're going to get out of this is that classic smoky bacon flavor with a touch of sweet maple inside, but with a lot of cayenne pepper flavor and vinegar.
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 $16.99 for a 6oz package. If you bought four packages, sent to Southern California, the total with shipping comes out to $81.42. That works out to $3.39 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $3.39 per ounce price, it's a fair value. I'm getting a good deal 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 more expensive yet provides an overall better snackability.
As a spicy bacon jerky labeled, "Backdraft", at the same $3.39 per ounce price, it's 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 a good rating.
This Backdraft variety from Bacon Forever provides a good deal of spicy heat through a vinegary cayenne pepper sauce along with chile pepper flakes, yet manages to provide some of that smoky bacon flavor that many of us have come to love along with a light bit of sweet maple flavor.
The result is a explosion of flavor that bursts out as you start chewing, just like a mushroom cloud of smoke and fire rushing through a towering inferno.
Like the Smoky Original I reviewed prior to this, the crumbly chewing texture didn't really provide me with the classic jerky experience that I look for, though conversely it's easy to eat.
My recommended beer pairing, go with something lower in alcohol so as to not exacerbate that spicy burn. Try the Boddington's Pub Ale or the Guinness Extra Stout.
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