Friday, January 25, 2013

House of Jerky - Black Pepper Alligator

house of jerkyAlso new to House of Jerky is this Black Pepper Alligator Jerky. See our reviews of other varieties from House of Jerky.

House of Jerky has become one of the hottest gourmet brands of jerky thanks to a growing number of its own branded jerky stores throughout the United States. House of Jerky uses all natural ingredients and no preservatives.

This Alligator Jerky is made from 100% alligator meat. According to House of Jerky's description, this jerky is "hand made", with a "mild flavor".


Ingredients

Alligator, water, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, pineapple juice, black pepper, liquid smoke, garlic powder, white pepper.

Taste

The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is an alligator meat flavor with a light sweetness, light smokiness, light soy sauce and teriyaki flavor.

The chewing flavor brings in a more defined alligator meat flavor, along with a more defined soy sauce, and teriyaki. The black pepper is noticeable along with touches of ginger.

For being marketed as a Black Pepper Alligator Jerky, this certainly lives up to its billing. I get a noticeable black pepper flavor against a well-noticeable alligator meat flavor. The black pepper has just the right volume of flavor where it's enough to taste but not where it scorches the mouth. But there seems to be enough to generate a light bit of heat, registering "mild-medium" on my personal heat scale (level 2 out of 5).

Otherwise, the flavors that dominate this jerky is the alligator meat flavor, mostly identifiable from the surface of these pieces. The soy sauce and teriyaki marinade generates the next strongest flavor, with a light sweetness and smokiness coming in next, and the black pepper and garlic rounding it all out.

The level of saltiness in this feels between moderate and heavy.

By this time, a lot of people have tried alligator meat, but not as many as jerky. In jerky form, alligator tends to take on a more aged flavor, bringing out a gamey/fishy characteristic. This one from House of Jerky is no different than the other brands of alligator jerky I've reviewed. However, the marinade and seasonings do a pretty good job of offsetting that gamey/fishy flavor.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced into chunks of small to medium sizes.

This a semi-moist jerky with a moist, slightly sticky, oily surface feel. Biting off pieces can require a little effort, while chewing is similar.

The chewing texture starts out feeling chewy, offering a light bit chewing resistance. It immediately feels like real meat, however, quite comparable to beef steak. Once chewed down to a soft mass, it feels very meaty, and very steak-like, albeit more like alligator.

I don't see any bits of fat or gristle on these slabs, nor did I encounter any stringiness or unchewable tissues.  It's all quite meaty.

In terms of clean eating, handling these pieces leaves a fair amount of sticky, oily, peppery residue on my fingers, enough to require a licking and wiping before touching the keyboard.

alligator jerky


alligator jerky

Snack Value

House of Jerky sells this Black Pepper Alligator Jerky from its website at a price of $46.00 per 14oz package. Shipping is free. That works out to a price of $3.29 per ounce.

For general alligator jerky snacking purposes, at the $3.29 per ounce price, it's a good value. That price is comparable to slightly less than other competing brands of alligator jerky, yet offers a great overall flavor, well-noticed natural meat flavor, and a good meat consistency.

As a black peppered alligator jerky, it's also a good value. I'm getting plenty of black pepper flavor without the excessive peppery scorch, along with the full, rich flavor of alligator meat.

Rating

I'm giving this a best rating.

This Black Pepper Alligator Jerky from House of Jerky brings together the full, rich flavor of alligator into the classic American flavor of jerky. It manages to blend together the savory, spicy, sweet and smoky jerky marinade that made House of Jerky famous with the natural flavor of alligator meat.

It's also quite moist and tender, and very meaty with no stringy or unchewable tissues.

Compared to other brands I've reviewed, this one still has the gamey/fishy character that all alligator jerky brands seem to have. However, this one from House of Jerky manages to find a marinade with enough savory, spicy flavor to offset that character, leaving you with something that tantalizes all aspects of the taste buds.

If you want alligator jerky, this one from House of Jerky should be tops on your list.

Rating: Best

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