New from Gary West Meats is this Smoked Wagyu Beef. See our reviews of other jerky products from Gary West Meats.
Wagyu Beef, along with American Kobe, and American Wagyu, are terms used in the United States referring to beef bred and raised similar to the famed Kobe Beef exclusive to Japan. Because true Kobe Beef cannot be exported to the United States, American cattle ranchers have sought to reproduce the same flavor and texture by utilizing similar stock, feeds, and handling practices.
This Wagyu Beef from Gary West Meats is derived from registered Japanese Tajima, Fujiyoski and Kedaka breed stock, the four breeds used to make true Kobe Beef, which were imported from Japan and raised in the United States.
American Kobe-Style Beef, brown sugar, sea salt, black pepper, sodium nitrite.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light smokiness, followed by a light sweet and saltiness.
The chewing brings in a good deal of natural meat flavors, supported by a little more sweet, salty, and smoky flavors. There's a touch of black pepper noticeable in the background.
For being marketed as "Smoked Wagyu Beef", it seems to hold up pretty well. I do get a light smokiness immediately off the surface, and picks up a little more in the chewing. I also taste a lot of the natural meat flavors, having a more smooth flavor, with perhaps a touch of fattiness.
Overall, the flavors that seem to define this jerky is the natural meat flavor, mixed with light amounts of sweet, salty, and smoky. Of those three, the sweetness hits the palate first, followed by the smoky and then the salty. The black pepper seems to sit in the background, creating a light spiciness that lingers from one bite to another.
Compared to Gary West Meats' other beef varieties, including their Original, their Certified Angus Beef, and their Silver Fork Naturals, this Wagyu Beef has a more smooth flavor, a little more rich, even faintly fruity in the more tender areas, but retaining a light marbleized flavor.
The marinade and seasonings that Gary West Meats' uses is very much the same used in their other beef jerky varieties, adding enough flavor to create interest but not too much so that the focus remains on the smoky meat flavor. This Wagyu Beef Jerky still has the same buttery character that I like so much with all of the company's jerky products.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into strips of four to twelve inches in length, and sliced thick.
This is a semi-moist jerky with a lightly oily surface feel. The strips are somewhat flexible, held stiff mostly by their thick widths. Chewing is mostly easy.
The chewing texture starts out feeling like stiff nuggets, but easily breaks apart and takes on a meaty feel in a few chews. From there it chews down quickly and feels more and more like real chunks of steak.
Compared to Gary West Meats' other beef varieties, this perhaps has the best chewing texture, feeling more tender and moist, yet very much like chunks of real meat.
I can see small flecks of fat on these strips, but otherwise no gristle or tendon. I don't encounter much of any stringiness, and no unchewable wads of tissue.
As for clean eating, it's pretty clean. My fingers do pick up light amount of oil, but only in some moments I had to lick and wipe them clean before touching the keyboard.
Gary West Meats sells this Smoked Wagyu Beef at a price of $26.79 for an 8oz package. That works out to a price of $3.35 per ounce.
Considering you're getting American Kobe Beef, it's a pretty good value. I'm getting a lot of natural meat flavors, with an excellent meat consistency and chewing texture. It's still more costly than regular beef jerky, but not really that much more considering its a very exclusive type of beef. But I think you're getting better natural meat flavor, and lots of thick, but tender, meaty chewing.
This Smoked Wagyu Beef from Gary West Meats offers an excellent natural meat flavor of American Kobe Beef, with an excellent meat consistency and chewing texture. You get to taste a meat flavor a little more smooth and rich compared Gary West Meats' other beef varieties, but having a little more fatty flavor, and even faintly fruity in the more tender portions.
What also makes this jerky so good is the long, thick slices of meat, conjuring up the carnivorous instincts passed down to us from our distant ancestors.
But it also carries the unique characteristics of a Gary West Meats jerky. It has that same buttery, melt-in-your-mouth quality, the same light marinade and seasonings that puts the focus on the beef, and the same moist, tender chewing.
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