Friday, May 23, 2014

Lawless Jerky - Thai Chili

lawless jerky
Next in the series on Lawless Jerky is this Thai Chili beef jerky. See my previous reviews of their other flavors.

The company was created by a licensed attorney named Matthew Tolnick of Santa Monica, CA. He started making jerky during his days in college when he and his fraternity boys needed sustenance through long evenings of studying. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Tolnick stepped up his game, producing jerky in a USDA inspected facility and marketing his product full time.

This Thai Chili is described by Tolnick as being inspired by the famous Sriracha Sauce, with all of its garlic peppery goodness, but infused with ginger and orange.


Ingredients

U.S. Top Round Steak (beef), chili sauce, rice vinegar, orange juice, ginger, garlic, salt.

Taste

The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a sweetness, followed by a light bit of ginger. Some saltiness comes in later, and a light burn starts up.

The chewing flavor starts with the flavor of Sriracha Sauce with a noticeable garlic and chile pepper flavor. I'm also picking up a light tanginess, perhaps from the vinegar, and very faint notes of citrus.

For being marketed as a "Thai Chili" beef jerky, it seems to hold up well. I do get a flavor that resembles a thai chili sauce, very much like Sriracha Sauce. There's plenty of that garlic, chile pepper, and vinegar flavor much like from the sauce made by Huy Fong Foods (the one with the rooster on the bottle).

The jerky even has the unmistakable aroma of the Sriracha Sauce.

And that's largely the flavor that defines this jerky. Though I can pick up some addition flavors, namely ginger, but also a lighter bit of citrus.

The level of heat in this is not that high. On my personal heat scale, I'd rank this as "medium" (Level 3 out of 5).

I'm only getting a light bit of the natural meat flavors, and mostly towards the end of chewing, when the other flavors wear off.

Overall, it's a very tasty combination of Sriracha Sauce, ginger, and citrus, and a light bit of natural meat flavor.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced into small strips of about two to three inches in length.

This is a dry jerky with a somewhat sticky and moist surface feel. The strips have some flexibility, but still stiff enough to require just a little effort into chewing.

The chewing texture starts out feeling chewy, with some initial resistance, requiring a bit of labor to break down. It soon takes on a meaty, steak like feel during the chewing, and by the time it renders into a soft mass it feels just like a real piece of meat.

I don't see any visible signs of fat or gristle, but I do experience a fair amount of stringiness in the chewing. Otherwise, I found no problematic tissues that I had to remove from my mouth.

As for clean eating, my fingers just a light bit of residue, requiring just a light bit of licking and wiping before touching the keyboard.

lawless jerky

lawless jerky


Snack Value

Lawless Jerky sells this Thai Chili variety at a price of $7.00 per 3oz package. If you buy 5 or more, it's $6.00 a package. No mention of shipping costs, but the box I received had a USPS postage label of $4.50. So, if you bought five packages, it would work out to a price of $2.30 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.30 per ounce price, it's a good value. I'm getting a great overall flavor, good meat consistency, and good chewing texture. Compared to major brands of jerky sold in stores, this jerky offers better flavor and chewing for the dollar.

As a "Thai Chili" beef jerky, at the same $2.30 per ounce price, it's a good value. I'm getting plenty of thai chili flavor, with some added thai ingredients of ginger and citrus, along with a moderate level of heat.

Rating

I'm giving this a best rating.

This Thai Chili beef jerky from Lawless Jerky comes off as a very flavorful presentation of Sriracha Sauce, retaining the same great garlic, chile pepper, and vinegar flavor, but also adds in a nice bit of ginger and a touch of citrus. The result opened up my eyes and made me think "wow!"

There's also the inherent sweetness in the Sriracha Sauce, but boosted by the orange juice, that creates the effect of eating a sweet & spicy jerky. I also liked the level of heat in this, keeping it at moderate so that I could keep feeding my face without having to douse the flames.

Even though I couldn't get much of the natural meat flavors from this, I was still able to taste some towards the end. But largely, I really liked the overall flavor of this jerky.

My recommended beer pairing, I think a citrus-like wheat beer would do well, try the Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat or the Wailua Wheat from Kona Brewing.

Rating: Best

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