Friday, August 12, 2011

KP's Beef Jerky - Jalapeno & Lemon

kps beef jerkyNext in the series on KP's Beef Jerky is this Jalapeno & Lemon variety. See my previous review of their Original.

KP's Beef Jerky is a new brand of jerky that launched earlier this year, distributed by Skyhawk Solutions LTD, based out of Woodbridge, IL. They claim their jerky is made in small batches, and they offer three flavors, this Jalapeno & Lemon, the Original, and a Spicy Onion & Garlic.

The company describes this Jalapeno & Lemon variety as, "Fire up your taste experience with this blend of jalapeƱo bits and a tangy twist of lemon."

Ingredients

Beef, jalapeno powder, lemon juices, spices, corn syrup solids, salt, brown sugar, liquid smoke, beef base, tabasco sauce, sodium nitrite.

Taste

The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a meaty, saucy flavor with a bit of spicy bite. There's a light jalapeno flavor in there, a faint tanginess, along with a moderate level of saltiness.

The chewing flavor brings in some natural meat flavors, otherwise I'm getting a bit more of the spiciness, and a continuation of the saucy, tangy flavors.

For being labeled as "Jalapeno & Lemon", this jerky holds up somewhat. I do get a light flavor of jalapeno, and a light to moderate level of heat, just enough to give chile heads something to smile about, while still keeping things tolerable for general audiences. But the lemon is very hard to pick up; I can get a faint bit of tanginess, though I'm not sure it's enough to represent what the company described as "tangy twist of lemon".

Generally, the flavor that dominates this jerky is that saucy, meaty flavor identified as "beef base" in the ingredients list. It has a very savory flavor not at all different from what you might expect from beef bouillon. A light to moderate level of heat is easily felt, along with a light jalapeno chile flavor.

There's also a decent amount of natural meat flavor in the chewing, enough to be noticeable, but not enough to be the primary flavor of this jerky.

The level of saltiness in this feels to be at a moderate amount.

Overall, what you're going to notice in this is largely a saucy, meaty flavor, comparable to a beef bouillon base, with a light jalapeno flavor and a light to moderate level of heat. You'll get fair amount of natural meat flavors, and a moderate saltiness. I don't really get any lemon flavor, only a faint touch of tanginess.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced into strips of medium to thick thickness, and in lengths ranging from two to six inches.

This a semi-moist jerky with a semi-moist surface feel. These strips are very flexible, being able to bend back on to themselves without cracking. Biting off chunks require a little bit of effort, but overall not bad. Chewing seemed a little more easy than with the Original variety I reviewed earlier.

The chewing texture starts out feeling moist and chewy, with some initial chewing resistance. A few good chews are enough to get this to break down, and then it chews down to a soft mass in about 20 seconds. At that point, it feels very much like a real piece of meat, quite steak-like, comparable to one cooked medium-well.

I don't see any visible pieces of fat, and neither any gristle or tendon. I encountered a little bit of stringiness, but not really any unchewable tissues.

In terms of clean eating, I get a light stickiness on my fingers, but not quite enough to require a licking, though I do find myself wiping my fingers on my jeans before touching my keyboard.

jalapeno lemon beef jerky

jalapeno beef jerky
Snack Value

KP's Beef Jerky sells this Jalapeno & Lemon variety from its website at a price of $9.95 for a 4oz package. The shipping is free. If you buy four packages, the website actually discounts the total price down to $26.30. That works out to a price of $1.64 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.64 price per ounce, it seems to offer an excellent value. I get a good deal of snackability for an overall good flavor, good meat consistency, and good chewing texture.

As a Jalapeno & Lemon variety, at the same $1.64 price per ounce, it's a decent value. I do get a light jalapeno flavor, and a light to moderate level of heat, but practically no lemon flavor aside from a faint bit of tanginess. Still, that price is lower than many other jalapeno flavored jerky brands on the market, and still offers comparable flavor overall.

Rating

I'm giving this a good rating.

This Jalapeno & Lemon variety from KP's Beef Jerky provides a light jalapeno flavor with a light to moderate level of heat. I didn't really get any lemon flavor other than a faint bit of tanginess, but just judging this as a jalapeno beef jerky I found a good deal of snackability from it's blend of saucy, beef base flavor, it's spiciness, and its natural meat flavors.

It's also pretty good chewing being mostly all meat with little in terms of stringiness or unchewable tissues, it's semi-moist consistency and steak-like chewing texture.

Overall, this jerky manages to combine a good flavor with a good chewing experience that I think many jerky aficionados are looking for. Folks who crave spicy, hot jerky might be left wondering where the heat is, but they'll still find plenty of flavor in this to keep them interested. It still lacks the "wow factor" I look for when assigning a five-star rating, but don't let that discourage you, this is still a good jerky.

My recommended beer pairing, try a well balanced malty and hoppy, but lighter flavored brew, such as the Samuel Adams Boston Lager, or the Big Sky Brewing Moose Drool.

Rating: Good

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