Moving along in the series on Crazy Cow Jerky is this Peppered Beef Jerky. See our previous reviews of Crazy Cow Jerky.
Crazy Cow Jerky is a brand of MadCow Beef Jerky Co., based out of Carmichael, CA. The company, started by Lon McPherson in 2007, has grown throughout Northern California filling store shelves in several high profile outlets including Raleys, Bel Air, Nugget Markets, and others.
This Peppered Beef Jerky is described by the company as being "not for the pepper shy", and that their jerky, "...has a kick without the sweat."
Beef (top round), soy sauce, black pepper.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light soy sauce flavor.
The chewing flavor brings in a black pepper spice along with a more defined soy sauce. There's a touch of natural meat flavor coming in next.
For being marketed as a Black Peppered jerky, it certainly holds up well. I'm getting a lot of black pepper flavor thanks to a liberal sprinkling of cracked pepper corns, and little other ingredients getting in the way. And just as the company described, there's quite a bit of kick to it as well. I'd rank this as "medium" on my personal heat scale (level 3 out of 5).
Otherwise, the flavors that define this jerky starts largely with the soy sauce. The black pepper is equally as strong, but tends to stay in the back of my mouth, whereas the soy sauce remains front and center on the tongue. The natural meat flavors are light, being more noticeable towards the latter part of chewing.
Compared to the company's, "Spicy Hot Ginger" variety I reviewed earlier, this Peppered seems to be equally as hot, or perhaps a little more. If you like to get a lot of black pepper flavor, this stuff has it. Otherwise, it tends to taste too intense for my liking.
The level of saltiness feels rather high, perhaps exacerbated by the spicy black pepper.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into slabs of thin to medium thickness, and in small to medium sizes.
This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel. There's a little bit of flexibility in these pieces, though they're mostly stiff. Chewing seems overall easy, with a little bit of chewiness.
The chewing texture starts out feeling dry and stiff, with a little bit of initial chewing resistance. It breaks down after a few chews and then takes on a meaty feel. By the time it breaks down to a soft mass, it feels meaty, though not exactly steak-like. It tends to feel crumbly a touch.
I found a few small streaks of fat on some pieces, but otherwise no gristle or tendon. I encounter only minimal stringiness, and no unchewable wads of tissue.
As for clean eating, it's very clean, leaving no residue on my fingers, though light bits of seasoning and meat on my desk.
Crazy Cow Jerky sells this Peppered beef jerky from its website at a price of $5.99 per 3oz package. If you buy a box of 15, you get free shipping, and would work out to a price of $1.99 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.99 per ounce price, it's a decent value. I'm getting a snackable flavor, good meat consistency, and decent chewing texture. Compared to major brands of jerky sold in stores, this provides similar flavor, better meat consistency, though comparable chewing.
As a Peppered beef jerky, at the same $1.99 per ounce price, it's a decent value as well, providing a lot of black pepper flavor, perhaps more so than competing brands.
This Peppered beef jerky from Crazy Cow offers a simple flavor combination of soy sauce and black pepper, both in strong amounts. It tends to feel high in saltiness perhaps due to the strong soy sauce, but also quite spicy due to the heavy black pepper.
As a result, this jerky attacks the mouth with an over-the-top saltiness and black pepper scorch that makes me want to gulp down water with each bite.
Otherwise, there's a light bit of natural meat flavor to help this jerky along, and it's still a good flavor overall. It's just quite intense and is better eating in small quantities. If the black pepper is too much, I suppose you could rub some of it off. But just as the company suggests, this jerky is not for the pepper-shy, and would actually be perfect for folks who've lost their taste buds over the years.
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