Next in the series on Golden Island Beef Jerky is this Korean Barbecue Pork jerky. See my reviews of their other flavors here.
Golden Island Beef Jerky is a brand of Formosa Meat Co., Inc. based out of Rancho Cucamonga, CA. I had originally reviewed Golden Island back in 2008, but just recently the company unveiled a new package design, reformulated recipes, and eliminated the use of preservatives.
This Korean Barbecue Pork jerky is described as being, "flame grilled", "sweet and slightly smoky", with "bold flavors of sesame and spices".
Pork, sugar, Korean inspired seasoning (sugar, dehydrated tamari gluten free soy sauce, maltodextrin, salt, garlic powder, sesame seeds, spices), corn syrup, sorbitol, gluten free soy sauce, salt, chili powder, sesame oil.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a lot of sweet, some sesame seed flavor, and a light saltiness. There's also an asian stir fry pork flavor.
The chewing flavor starts with an increased asian stir fry pork flavor, and an increased saltiness. The sesame seed flavor increases a touch, and there's a touch of soy sauce flavor noticeable too.
As for being named, "Korean Barbecue Pork", this holds up somewhat. I don't really get a well-defined, Korean Barbecue flavor, or even that of Bulgogi. What I taste is something more like asian stir fry pork (think slices of pork with snow peas, bean sprouts, broccoli, water chestnuts), with that sweet, sesame seed and soy sauce combination. As for "Barbecue", this actually does have a flame grilled flavor, visually supported by the blackened tips and edges of these pieces.
Otherwise, the flavors that define this jerky is a dominant sweetness, with the sesame seed flavor having a strong second, followed by the Chinese stir fry pork flavor. There's a light saltiness produced by the light soy sauce flavor.
Despite the inclusion of chili powder, and Korean cuisine's reputation for being spicy hot, this isn't spicy at all. It's quite mild.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into slabs of small to medium sizes, and sliced medium thick.
This is a semi-moist jerky, having a slightly moist surface feel. These slabs are very soft, and very flexible. Chewing is very easy.
The chewing texture starts out feeling soft and pliable, offering no resistance, easily breaking down and chewing into a soft mass very quickly. By that time, it feels like real meat, but very tender, almost to the point of being mushy, but not quite.
I don't see any fat on these slabs, and I found no gristle or tendon unlike Golden Island's beef jerky. I found no stringiness and encountered no unchewable tissues.
In terms of clean eating, it's mostly clean. My fingertips pick up very light amount of sticky, oily residue, sometimes light enough to require no licking and wiping.
Golden Island sells this Korean Barbecue Pork Jerky at select Costco Stores across the country (Visit their website to find a list). They will also be selling it online from their website in the next few months.
I don't have any pricing to work with right now, so I can't determine Snack Value.
This Korean Barbecue Pork jerky from Golden Island offers a tasty, savory flavor very reminiscent of asian stir fry pork, with that luscious combination of sesame seed oil and soy sauce, but combined with a good deal of barbecue sweetness, and then flame grilled for a real barbecue effect.
Compared to the company's Grilled Barbecue Pork, that I reviewed last week, this has less of the sweet, and none of the cinnamon, but more of the barbecue flavor, and a more Asian influence. If eaten side by side with the Grilled Barbecue Pork, you can taste a little bit more of the spices in this, but just eaten by itself it's hard to identify.
Between the two flavors, this Korean Barbecue Pork is probably the better of the two, probably more popular with the more refined jerky snackers while the Grilled Barbecue Pork would be more appreciated by the younger bucks.
Overall, I don't really identify anything in this uniquely Korean, but overall it's clearly an Asian-influenced jerky with a great meat consistency.
Visit Golden Island Jerky Online: