Waldon's philosophy with beef sticks was to make them out of beef, and not "mechanically separated chicken". And instead of filling them up with soy and wheat fillers, he actually fills them up with beef. The result is a beef stick made of beef, and American raised beef at that. Moreover, Pap's Genuine Beef Sticks claims to be a "tender, moister, beefier" beef stick.
Presently the company offers three flavors, Mild Smokey, Honey, and Spicy, with more flavors are coming this year. They are currently stocked in convenience stores throughout Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Indiana. You can also buy them from their website.
Mild Smokey: Beef, water, salt, corn syrup, spices, monosodium glutamate, dextrose, citric acid, garlic powder, natural hickory smoke flavoring, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.
Honey: Beef, water, honey, salt, corn syrup, spices, monosodium glutamate, dextrose, citric acid, garlic powder, natural hickory smoke flavoring, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.
Spicy: Beef, water, salt, corn syrup, spices, monosodium glutamate, dextrose, citric acid, garlic powder, natural hickory smoke flavoring, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.
The Mild Smokey has quite a mild flavor indeed, with just a hint of smokiness. For the most part, I taste a light bit of the natural meat flavors, but mostly a light saltiness, a touch of sweet, a light bit of spice, and a faint bit of tangy.
The Honey is noticeably more sweet than the Mild Smokey, and does have a touch of the unique flavor of honey. Otherwise, it's very much like the Mild Smokey.
The Spicy has a noticeable red pepper flavor, perhaps cayenne, and is a little more spicier than the Mild Smokey, and a little less sweet than the Honey. It's not hot however, I'd rank it as "mild medium" on my personal heat scale (level 2 out of 5).
Overall, all three sticks have a light natural meat flavor, a light saltiness, and a faint bit of tangy.
Just as the company claims, these sticks are quite tender. Each bite of a stick felt soft and very easy to chew. As far as being "moister" than other sticks, I suppose that could be said considering I've had my fair share of dry, chewy meat sticks. But they don't seem to be ahead of the bell curve in terms of moisture, and more or less within the ballpark of other beef sticks.
There's a nice "snap" or crunch when biting off a chunk due to the casing, yet the casing doesn't get in the way of chewing.
The meat filler is finely ground and seems to be mostly meat, though I did encounter some crunchy matter, it was quite few and far between.
They also handled well, leaving no sticky or oily residue on my fingers, and they felt quite substantial as if there was a lot of meat packed into them.
Pap's Genuine Beef Sticks can be purchased from its website at a price of $27.00 for an 18-count box, with each stick weighing in at 1.25oz. Shipping to Southern California comes to $9.00, for a total cost of $36.00. That works out to a price of $2.00 per stick, or $1.60 per ounce.
For general meat stick snacking purposes, at the $1.60 per ounce price, it's seems to be a good value. I get a decent level of snackability for its satisfying flavor, but more so for its soft, tender chew, nice snap of the casing, and clean eating. Considering it's all beef without any fillers perhaps makes it more valuable as a protein snack. Compared to other meat sticks sold in convenience stores, it's similarly priced, yet it provides a better meat stick experience.
I'm giving these sticks a good rating.
Pap's Genuine Beef Sticks seems to have its strength in its meat consistency, having a soft, tender chew, with a good "snap" of the casing, and leaving my fingers clean and dry. I found mostly all meat inside with very little crunchy, stringy, tissues, and these sticks seemed to have a weighty feel.
As far as taste, I think they're tastier than the major brands of meat sticks, and "cleaner tasting" too. Yet, they all seem to have a mild flavor overall, even the Spicy variety. That is, I didn't get a burst of flavor in these sticks, they had a tame, watered-down-for-the-masses, characteristic. The Mild Smokey had only a hint of smokiness, not quite enough to meet my expectations on a product with such a flavor name.
Still, I felt quite pleased to snack on these beauties and could see myself eating several more. Compared to other brands of meat sticks, they seem to be better than the average lot, but mostly for its meat consistency. Out of the three flavors here, I'd go with the Spicy.
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