Monday, October 29, 2012

Bam's Jerky - Kill Me!

bams jerky
Next in the series on Bam's Jerky is this "Kill Me!" variety. Read our review of their Original beef jerky.

Bam's Jerky is the creation of Bam Romero, a bartender at Toby's Public House, located in the South Slope of Brooklyn. Romero had been making jerky for nearly 20 years, but only recently started selling it in Ziploc baggies for about the last five. And with patrons seemingly hooked, Bam's is now getting press attention in several hyperlocal magazines. According to Romero, "even the cops are coming in for it".

This "Kill Me!" variety is dubbed, "Hot Hot Hot", being made with 10 varieties of peppers, and is said to be three times hotter than the Original.


Ingredients

Grass-fed beef, low sodium soy sauce, sugar, black and red peppers, all natural liquid smoke.

Taste

The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a chile pepper flavor, more like the dried seasoning kind. There's a moderate saltiness, followed by a light smoky flavor. I can also pick up a garlic or vinegar flavor, perhaps stemming from another chile pepper seasoning.

The chewing flavor starts with a natural meat flavor, with a light soy sauce mixed in. There's a light burn building up.

For being dubbed, "Hot Hot Hot", "10 varieties of peppers", and "3 times more hot than the Original", this seems to stand up to those claims. I don't actually see this as being hot, at least not something that burns up my mouth, but it does have some heat. On my personal heat scale, I'd rate this as medium (level 3 out of 5).

I do taste a chile pepper flavor in this, but it's not any specific type of pepper that I can identify. It's largely the flavor of dried red pepper flakes sold in shaker jars. But there's also this other flavor, something like garlic or vinegar, reminiscent of pickled jalapenos.

Otherwise, the flavors that seem to define this jerky overall is the combination of chile pepper seasonings and the natural meat flavors. There's also a light soy sauce flavor noticeable in the chewing. Just as with the Bam's original flavor, this Kill Me! variety has much the same flavor, but with the chile pepper seasonings sharing the spotlight.

In fact, the chile pepper seasonings tend to drown out the liquid smoke that played a significant role in the Original. It's still noticeable, it's just harder to single out.

The same goes with the natural meat flavors. Because of the stronger chile pepper seasoning, the meat flavors are not as well noticeable.

Overall, it's still a very tasty jerky, and one that spicy food lovers will enjoy, particularly if they already liked Bam's Original flavor.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, cut into slabs of small to medium sizes and sliced thin.

This is a dry jerky, maybe slightly moist, with a semi-moist surface feel. These slabs are easy to bend, and overall chewing seems easy.

The chewing texture starts out feeling like typical slab-style jerky, but a little more tender than the major brands. It chews down easier than the major brands as well, and quickly takes on a meaty feel. By the time it's been chewed down to a soft mass, it feels just like a piece of steak.

I see a fair amount of fat on these slabs, mostly as well-marbleized streaks. Some of this fat is chewy and remains in my mouth as unchewable wads. The stringiness in this Kill Me! sample is more so than I found with the Original. I also found a small piece of tough, hard tendon.

In terms of clean eating, my fingers pick up a thin layer of sticky/oily residue, along with some bits of black and red pepper. But so far, nothing requiring a licking and wiping before touching the keyboard.

bams jerky
bams jerky
Snack Value

Bam's Jerky sells this Kill Me! variety at a price of $5.00 per 1.7oz bag. If you bought 7 of these bags, shipping is $5.00 flat rate. That would work out to a price of $3.36 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $3.36 per ounce price, it's a fair value. I'm getting a good snackability for an overall good flavor, fair meat consistency, and good chewing texture. Compared to major brands of jerky sold in stores, this has a better flavor, though much more fat and unchewable tissues, with a much higher price.

As a spicy hot jerky, that claims to be made from 10 varieties of peppers, it's also a fair value. I do get a fair amount of heat from this, but it's still toned down enough that it's suitable for most spicy food lovers. But considering the name "Kill Me!", you'd have to be a chile-virgin to find peace through death.

Rating

I'm giving this a good rating.

This Kill Me! variety from Bam's Jerky manages to deliver a good flavor of chile pepper seasonings against a well-marbleized natural meat flavor, and a light soy sauce.

But unlike with Bam's Original variety, where I could pick out the smokiness, the sweet, the soy sauce, and the black and red peppers, I'm having more difficulty picking them out in this. I think the chile pepper seasoning is significant enough that it tends to drown out these other flavors that I felt played a key role in the Original.

The meat consistency seemed better in this review sample compared to the Original, still being well-marbleized, but with a little less of the big chunks of fat. Though this seemed a little more stringy. Overall, the fat plays a role in the meat flavors, and it's hard to define how much fat is too much.

My recommended beer pairing, go with a creamy stout, such as the Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin or the Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout.

Rating: Good

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