Stuart Doley grew up in Virginia making venison jerky as far back as he could remember. A few years ago he moved to the country of Belize in South America, and discovered an absence of jerky. He managed to build a relationship with a meat producer and began the process of starting his own beef jerky brand.
According to Doley, beef in Belize largely comes from Brahman cattle, which leads to a more flavorful and lean beef jerky. Because Belizean beef products cannot be exported to the United States, folks in the USA cannot get this jerky, though thankfully Stu was able to deliver us a couple of packages for review. It's only available for sale in Belize.
Lean beef, soy sauce, sugar, Stu's secret blend of spices.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a seasoning blend of salt, garlic, and sweet. There's a bit of meaty flavor coming in, and touches of soy sauce.
The chewing brings in a bit more of the soy sauce, saltiness and sweet. I can feel a little bit of heat, and I can also pick up a some black pepper. The natural meat flavors are also noticeable.
For being labeled as, "Spicy Habanero", it doesn't hold up well. I do get a light amount of heat, but not enough for Habanero. I don't really pick up any habanero chile flavor. It is, however, spicy. The combination of chile pepper and black pepper seasoning definitely generates some burn. But, considering this is labeled, "Habanero", I expected more heat. On my personal heat scale, I'd rank this as medium (level 3 out of 5).
Otherwise, the flavors that seem to define this jerky are largely the blend of soy sauce and seasonings. There's a noticeable sweetness that lingers throughout the chewing, and then there's the natural meat flavors that seem to become more noticeable as the chewing goes on.
The ingredients combine to create a spicy jerky with a medium to high degree of flavor intensity. I find the flavor quite savory and addicting, though still nothing unusual or extraordinary to set it above and beyond the bell curve.
The natural meat flavors are noticeably different than the standard Angus beef we see in the United States. This jerky has a little more rich beef flavor, but at the same time a little more buttery or sweet.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into slabs of medium sizes, and sliced thin to medium thickness.
This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel. They have some flexibility. Biting off pieces can require a bit of effort, and chewing ranges from moderate to tough.
The chewing texture starts out feeling feeling stiff and dry, with a fair amount of stiff, rubbery chewing resistance. After several chews, it takes on a meaty feel. Once chewed down to a soft mass, it has a steak-like feel, though still a little rubbery.
I don't see any fat on these slabs, nor any gristle or tendon. I do encounter a fair amount of stringiness, some of which mats down to unchewable wads.
As for clean eating, I don't get any residue on my fingers, but I do see a some black pepper bits falling off on to my lap and table.
I don't have any pricing info on this.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Spicy Habanero beef jerky from Stu Beef Jerky offers up a tasty, savory flavor stemming from a garlic seasoning blend and the soy sauce marinade. It has a good spicy flavor, but mostly from the black pepper. I can't seem to get much habanero flavor, and nor does this seem hot enough for a product labeled, "Habanero". While it's definitely spicy, I don't see enough distinction between this variety and the Black Pepper variety I reviewed earlier.
And just like the Black Pepper variety, this Spicy Habanero is also rather tough to chew. Biting and tearing off pieces can require some effort, while chewing tires my jaw muscles after a few pieces. And while this has a good flavor, it's still doesn't produce a "wow factor" for me. It's still nothing extraordinary or unusual.
Overall, it's still a better jerky than many of the national brands, and still much better than any of the jerky brands coming from Central and South America. It has a savory, addicting flavor, an enjoyable natural meat flavor, one that is a little more rich than the Angus beef jerky brands we see so much of in the USA. Should Stu Beef Jerky ever find its way into the States, I'm sure it'll sell well.
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