Next up in the series on Strollo's Homemade Beef Jerky is this Hot Garlic variety. See our previous review of their Garlic beef jerky.
Strollo's Homemade Beef Jerky is a new beef jerky brand owned and operated by Michael Strollo of Eatontown, NJ. Made fresh to order by Strollo himself, all of his jerky is made in small batches to increase freshness and quality. He uses no preservatives, additives or fillers. Only 100% USDA certified beef is used, and according to him, "...we make sure that there's 100% beef in every bite!"
Currently the company offers four flavors, including this Hot Garlic variety, plus the Garlic we reviewed last week, and a Hot and a Mild.
Lean beef, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, liquid smoke
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a moderate saltiness which soon graduates into a soy sauce flavor. A moderate burn starts to build.
The chewing flavor brings in more definition from the soy sauce, with an increased saltiness, along with a natural meat flavor. I can pick up a light chile pepper flavor.
For being marketed as a Hot Garlic beef jerky, I'm not tasting much of the garlic. I don't identify anything garlic that stands out from the other ingredients. I do, however, get a good deal of heat, plenty enough to warrant the "Hot" part of the label.
On my personal heat scale, I'd rank this as "Medium Hot" (Level 4 out of 5).
Otherwise, the flavor that seems to define this jerky most of all is the soy sauce. After that, there's a light touch of sweet, followed by the natural meat flavors, and then the light chile pepper flavor.
The natural meat flavors are pretty well defined in this, having a flavor much like a porterhouse steak cooked well done.
The level of saltiness in this seems moderate to high, due to the dominant soy sauce flavor.
Overall, it's a spicy hot jerky that comes mostly with the flavor of soy sauce, a touch of sweet, and then the natural meat flavors.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into strips of two to five inches, and sliced thin.
This is a dry jerky with a mostly dry surface feel, though with just a light bit of oil from the vacuum packaging. The strips are slightly brittle, and offer a light bit of crunch when bit into.
The chewing texture starts out feeling stiff and chewy. The first few chews encounter a fair amount of resistance. Further chewing makes it feel more like real meat, and by the time it chews down to a soft mass, it feel just like a well-done cooked steak.
I don't see much of any fat or gristle on these strips, and encountered no stringiness, and no unchewable tissues. It's very meaty.
In terms of clean eating, it's quite clean, leaving only a very fine film of oil on my fingers, not enough to require a licking and wiping before touching the keyboard.
Strollo's Homemade Beef Jerky sells this Hot Garlic variety from its website at a price of $5.00 for a 1.5oz package. If you bought 10 packages, with shipping of $10.83 to Southern California, it works out to a price of $4.06 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $4.06 per ounce price, it's a weak value. I'm getting a decent level of snackability, thanks to the addition of chile pepper, along with a good meat consistency and chewing texture. However, that price is extremely high compared to major brands of jerky sold in stores, yet doesn't seem to offer the same high difference in snackability.
As a Hot Garlic flavored jerky, at the same $4.06 per ounce price, it's a weak value. I'm not really getting much garlic flavor from this, at least not anything front and center, though I do get some good heat from this. But that price is double that what you'd pay for competing brands of jerky.
This Hot Garlic variety from Strollo's Homemade Beef Jerky doesn't really offer any garlic flavor that I can identify easily from the other ingredients, but it does add the chile pepper flavor and a decent level of heat. It's still largely a soy sauce flavored jerky with a light touch of sweet, however.
Compared to their Garlic variety, this Hot Garlic adds just enough chile pepper flavor to breath some addition taste dimension to help lift this jerky into the higher rating. It already has a good natural meat flavor, and a good meat consistency and chewing texture.
Perhaps adding some fresh chopped garlic bits would make for a nice touch, giving random bites that burst of garlic to awaken the senses.
My recommended beer pairing, go with a dark belgian ale, such as the Stone Cali-Belgique, or the Gouden Carolus.
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