Classic beef jerky.
Launched by two cooks Chris Woehrle and Robert Stout in November of 2009, Kings County Jerky Co. has enjoyed a lot of recent press in the news as an artisanal jerky manufacturer based in New York City. The pair got a big boost when they finished 2nd place out of 150 contestants in the Rooster Design "Next Big Small Brand" competition, earning a big hit from the crowd.
This Sichuan Ginger variety is described as a "savory, sophisticated blend of fresh ginger and fragrant spices that takes jerky in a delicious new direction."
Grass-fed beef, tamari, orange juice, water, fresh ginger, brown sugar, black pepper, Sichuan peppercorns, star anise
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a lightly sweet, soy sauce marinade with touches of ginger, and faint notes of the star anise. I can pick up a light peppery flavor.
The chewing flavor starts with a bit more of the star anise and soy sauce, along with a natural meat flavor.
For being marketed as "Sichuan Ginger" it seems to hold up. I do sense a flavor that imparts a taste reminiscent of Chinese cuisine, particularly a stir-fry beef dish. I also taste a light bit of ginger, particularly from the surface flavors, adding that bit of sharp, pungent overtones against the lightly sweetened Tamari sauce marinade.
Otherwise, the flavors that seem to define this jerky most of all starts with the Tamari sauce, enhanced with a little sweet and ginger. The natural meat flavors are perhaps next strongest with the sichuan pepper and very subtle graces of star anise.
The natural meat flavors seem a little more defined in this Sichuan Ginger variety than compared to the company's Classic variety I reviewed earlier. It still has that little bit of a fatty flavor to create a more beefy taste.
The level of saltiness in this feels to be moderate.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced medium thickness, and in small to medium sized slabs.
This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel. It has a fair amount of flexibility, but more of the dry fibrous kind and not the rubbery, plastic kind. Biting off chunks can require a little bit of tearing and gnawing for some thicker pieces, and mostly easy on the thinner pieces. Chewing seems similarly easy/tough.
The chewing texture offers a fair amount of initial chewing resistance, and can make the jaw muscles feel labored on the thicker slices, but overall fine. As it chews down it starts to feel like real meat, and once down to a soft mass, tends to feel like real steak, cooked well-done.
The pieces have some visible spots and streaks of fat, though they don't seem to make much impact. I do see some tiny specs of fat on a few. I didn't encounter any gristle or tendon, but I did find a fair amount of stringiness throughout these pieces. Otherwise, no unchewable tissues.
In terms of clean eating, it's mostly clean, with no residue remaining on my fingertips.
Kings County Jerky Co. sells this Sichuan Ginger variety from its website at a price of $8.99 for a 2oz package. If you buy 6 packages, shipping comes to about $10.00 (based on the box they sent me). That works out to a price of $5.33 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $5.33 per ounce price, it's a fair value. It has a great flavor, good meat consistency, and good chewing texture. Compared to major brands of jerky sold in stores, it's far more expensive, though much better in flavor and consistency.
As a Sichuan Ginger variety, at the same $5.33 per ounce price, it's a decent value. I do get a flavor that seems to deliver on the Sichuan (Szechuan) style cuisine, along with a light Sichuan Pepper flavor, and light touches of ginger. Though, paying a price that's more than double what most gourmet brands sell for, is tough to chew on. But then again, there's not many Sichuan Ginger beef jerky brands out there.
I'm giving this a best rating.
This Sichuan Ginger beef jerky from Kings County Jerky Co. manages to do a good job of delivering a flavor that recreates of the tastes of Szechuan style cuisine. It gives off a peppery flavor of Sichuan Pepper and adds touches of ginger and star anise, along with Tamari sauce, to impart a Chinese take on an old American snack.
Even as a beef jerky alone, it has a good meat consistency and a steak-like chewing texture that's not too terribly tough. I particularly enjoyed the natural flavors of grass-fed beef, having a lightly fatty touch to recreate the sensation of eating real steak.
But I particularly appreciate the company's rarely used seasonings for jerky, such as the Sichuan Pepper and the star anise, and I particularly love the use of ginger which I'd like to see more of in asian-themed jerky varieties.
My recommended beer pairing for this, go with a dark lager, such as an Asahi Black or the Negra Modelo.
Buy this online: