In my recent trip to Hawaii I found these bags of Dole Plantation Brand Ham Jerky selling inside the ABC Stores. Dole is the famous producer of tropical fruits like pineapple, banana, and mango.
This Ham Jerky is actually the product of Bric-A-Brac, Inc., based out of Las Vegas, NV. You might be familiar with their Winchester brand of jerky that I reviewed in 2008. The jerky itself, however, was manufactured by Monogram Meat Snacks, who makes jerky for hundreds of other companies.
In addition to this Pineapple flavored Ham Jerky, Bric-A-Brac also offers a Hickory Smoked Jerky made from beef & chicken, which I'll review later.
Pork (ham), water, brown sugar, contains less than 2% of hydrolyzed soy protein, salt, dextrose, flavorings, pineapple flavor (ethyl alcohol, natural flavor, water), sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a faint bit of pineapple flavor, and a faint touch of saltiness. There's a light waxy feel.
The chewing flavor starts with an increased saltiness, a light bit of ham flavor, and slightly increased pineapple flavor.
For being advertised as "Pineapple Flavored Ham Jerky", it seems to hold up, in light amounts. As a ham jerky, it does have a ham flavor, somewhat. It's not easily distinguishable as ham, but it does resemble it. As for the pineapple flavor, yes there is a pineapple flavor in this, but light. There's probably a stronger pineapple aroma than flavor.
The primary flavor that seems to come out of the chewing is the resemblance to ham, with its associated saltiness. The saltiness is not heavy at all, perhaps light to moderate. It's just that there is little other flavor in this to compete against the saltiness.
The pineapple flavoring is something that colors the ham flavor, it doesn't dominate this jerky. There's also a slight touch of sweetness in this that doesn't really hit me until I'm a few pieces in. There are also touches of spice, perhaps something reminiscent of clove and black pepper.
Overall, it's a light tasting jerky with barely any surface flavors. All the flavor comes from the chewing. It's quite mild and suitable for tame tongues.
These appear to be slices of whole ham, cut into square chunks, and sliced medium to thick.
This is a dry jerky is a dry surface feel. There's a light, thin waxy feel on the surface of these pieces that I can detect in my mouth. Biting off chunks take a some effort, while chewing tends to be the same, chewy and somewhat tough.
The chewing texture starts out feeling like stiff rubber, and has a good deal of initial chewing resistance. As I continue chewing, it tends to break apart into smaller bits. Once down to a soft mass, it still feels like little crumbly bits of meat that never mesh together.
I don't see any fat on these pieces or any gristle. The chewing doesn't reveal any unchewable wads or stringiness. It seems all meat, but chews very crumbly.
In terms of clean eating, it's mostly clean. I still feel that thin waxy residue on my fingers, but they're still dry enough to type without cleaning off my fingers.
ABC Stores located throughout Hawaii sells this Dole Plantation Brand Ham Jerky at a price of $9.99 for a 3oz package. That works out to a price of $3.33 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $3.33 price per ounce, it's a poor value. I'm not getting enough snackability due to an overall light flavor, and uninteresting flavor, along with somewhat tough eating and crumbly chewing texture.
As a Pineapple Flavored Ham Jerky, at the same $3.33 price per ounce, it's a weak value. I do get a light ham flavor along with a light pineapple flavor, but they don't give me enough satisfaction, and still makes for an overall bland experience.
I'm giving this a fair rating.
This Dole Plantation Brand Pineapple Flavored Ham Jerky has a light ham flavor with a light taste of pineapple. But aside from that, it doesn't pack enough flavor to be interesting, and comes off somewhat bland for jerky.
It's also tough to eat and tires my jaws by the time I finished the package. The chewing texture is also rather crumbly, not at all feeling like chewing real ham.
If there is any positive I can identify, it's that it does seem to stand up to its claim of being pineapple flavored, although just lightly.
My recommended beer pairing for this, try the Wailua Wheat from Kona Brewing Company.
Where to Buy:
- at ABC Stores throughout Hawaii