The Jerky Connection.
Run by Tom Greineder, The Jerky Connection is a new business that launched last June, based out of Wrightsville, PA, boasting several flavors ranging from mild to insanely hot, including a line of jerky dubbed, "7 Gates of Hell".
This Peppered Garlic is described as, "like eating your favorite cut of garlic and cracked pepper crusted steak. Marinated to perfection and made to please beef jerky lovers that also love pepper and garlic!"
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a meaty flavor, with soy sauce mixed in, plus a light saltiness. The garlic soon fades into view, while a light black pepper flavor lingers in the background.
The chewing brings in an increased garlic, while the black pepper slowly builds strength. There's a light natural meat flavor
For being marketed as "Peppered Garlic", it seems to hold very well. I get a good deal of garlic flavor along with plenty of black pepper. The black pepper doesn't feel excessive, not to the point of scorching, but at a nice spicy level.
On my personal heat scale, I'd rate the spiciness as mild-medium (level 2 out of 5).
Otherwise, the flavors that seem to define this jerky is a soy sauce marinade along with its associated saltiness. There may even be a little vinegar in there, it's hard to say without seeing the ingredients. The natural meat flavors seem to generate the next most flavor, with the garlic and black pepper adding a nice swash of color.
The natural meat flavors probably are more evident in this Peppered Garlic variety than most other jerky varieties I've tried from The Jerky Connection. I can pick up touches of fatty flavor mixed in, creating a more steak-like experience.
The level of saltiness in this feels high.
With the more rich garlic and black pepper seasonings, combined with the soy sauce marinade and well-noticed natural meat flavor, this jerky has a "steakhouse" character that creates a lot of savory snacking.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced medium thickness, and sliced into small strips large enough to accommodate one or two bites.
This is a dry jerky with a semi-moist, lightly oily surface feel. The strips are flexible but still somewhat stiff. Chewing is a little labored, but overall tolerable.
The chewing texture starts out tender and flexible, with a light bit of resistance. It breaks down with some labored chewing, but overall not too tough. It soon takes on meaty feel, and by the time it's rendered into a soft mass, it feels just like eating a piece of steak.
I don't see any bits or streaks of fat on these pieces, it all looks to be quite lean. I don't really encounter any stringiness nor any unchewable tissues.
As for clean eating, my finger tips pick up a fair amount of oily, sticky residue with bits of black pepper, requiring a licking and wiping before touching the keyboard.
The Jerky Connection sells this Peppered Garlic jerky at a price of $27.00 for a one pound bag. Add to that shipping of $6.30 out to Southern California, and it works out to a price of $2.08 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.08 price per ounce, it's a good value. I'm getting an overall great flavor, a great meat consistency and good chewing texture. Compared to major brands of jerky sold in stores, this offers a substantially better value at a comparable price.
As a Peppered Garlic jerky, at the same $2.08 price per ounce, it's also a good value. I'm getting plenty of black pepper flavor, not scorching but with a spicy kick. The garlic is also well identified, creating a lot of flavor interest.
I'm giving this a best rating.
This Peppered Garlic variety from The Jerky Connection doles out a good deal of black pepper spice, enough to create a low level of burn, along with a well noticeable garlic seasoning. This jerky actually more of a soy sauce flavor with an identifiable natural meat flavor. Combined with the black pepper and garlic, this tastes much like a "steakhouse" style jerky.
Folks who love black peppered jerky will find a big winner in this one, giving them plenty of that peppery spice but adding a satiable level of garlic to really perk things up.
The meat consistency and chewing texture has the same high quality as other varieties from The Jerky Connection, being pure meat, with no fat, gristle, tendon, or unchewable tissues to speak of. There's just an initial bit of labored chewing at first, but chews down easily enough into pieces of real steak.
I did, however, find this jerky high on the salty side, but still found the seasonings and marinade, the natural meat flavor, and the great chewing and consistency to warrant a top rating.
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