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 Cowafornia Beef Jerky is described by the company as being "...the most unique original flavor out there. Sweet, a bit tangy, and watch out for that celery seed!"
Beef, teriyaki sauce, dried red bell pepper, black pepper, onion powder, celery salt, celery seed.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is the celery salt. The onion powder and dried red bell pepper are also quite noticeable. Later on, the teriyaki sauce becomes discernable.
The chewing flavor brings in a more defined teriyaki sauce along with a light natural meat flavor.
For being labeled, "Cowafornia", assuming this is more of a California-style flavoring, it seems to hold up. When you consider California-style anything often embodies an eccentric though natural, light fare, this has that flavor. It's clearly not Texan, not Cajun, not Hawaiian, not Asian. It has it's own flavor, and could very well pass as something quirky as California.
Otherwise, the flavors that seem to define this jerky the most is largely the celery salt and seed, followed by the teriyaki sauce. The onion powder and red bell pepper add the next most identifiable flavors, while the black pepper adds some spice to the background. The natural meat flavors rounds everything out with the lightest contribution.
But unlike the company's description, claiming it to be a bit tangy. I'm not sure. I don't really pick up "tangy", instead I get teriyaki sauce, which when combined with the seasonings, may produce something similar to tangy.
The black pepper in this produces a very light touch of heat, still registering as mild on my personal heat scale (level 1 out of 5).
The level of saltiness in this feels moderate.
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, a little more steak-like than compared to the company's other varieties.
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 Cowafornia 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 good value. I'm getting a good overall flavor, good meat consistency, and good chewing texture. Compared to major brands of jerky sold in stores, this provides similar flavor, better meat consistency and chewing.
As a Cowafornia beef jerky, at the same $1.99 per ounce price, it's a good value as well, providing a unique flavor unlike other ethnic cuisines and more like something you'd associate with the California lifestyle.
This Cowafornia variety from Crazy Cow Jerky offers a very unique flavor profile flanked by a bold seasoning blend and a sweet, savory teriyaki marinade. It's the celery salt and seed that really comes through in this jerky, and when combined with the onion powder and red bell pepper, creates a very tantalizing taste not unlike Mrs. Dash, but with salt.
After reviewing all five of Crazy Cow's jerky varieties, I think this Cowafornia is by far the company's best flavor, and most original. The chunks of dried bell pepper on these pieces actually create a more satisfying snack experience because when you chew into a chunk, you get a little burst of flavor.
Somehow, even the meat consistency and chewing texture is better, perhaps due to the effect of the seasonings and marinade on meat fibers.
Buy this online: