Ria's RoadKill Jerky is run by Eden Van, based out of Long Beach, CA, having launched in January 2011. Eden got started in making jerky after receiving compliments on his barbecue recipes. He uses USDA Choice top round from his local meat market. All jerky is dehydrated in a smoker. He currently sells through Facebook and eBay while waiting for his new website to finish.
According to Eden, this Teriyaki beef jerky is claimed to be the "most authentic teriyaki flavor" he could possibly develop after six months of experimenting, using only Japanese ingredients. He smokes it over cherry wood for mild flavor. This is the company's only variety free of MSG.
Beef, mirin, soy sauce, water, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, sesame seed.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a good deal of smokiness, followed by a touch of sweet, and a light bit of oiliness.
The chewing brings in some saltiness and the natural meat flavors. I can pick up hints of soy sauce in the latter part of chewing.
For being marketed as "Teriyaki", it holds up somewhat. It does have a light teriyaki taste, where the mirin wine, soy sauce, and sugar come together and coalesce. But it's a rather light flavor that takes a back seat to the more siginificant smokiness and natural meat flavor. The ginger, which I think plays an important part in teriyaki, is very hard to identify. As for claims of being authentic Japanese teriyaki, the flavor is too light to really determine.
Otherwise, the flavors that seem to define this jerky is the natural meat flavor with the cherry wood smoke. The light teriyaki adds just hints of flavor, or else it's a light saltiness and sweetness.
The ingredients all combine to create a very mild flavored jerky, with touches of sweet and salty, emphasizing the great flavor of real wood smoked beef.
These are slices of whole meat, cut into thick slabs of small to medium sizes, with each slab big enough for one or two bites.
This a semi-moist jerky with a dry surface feel, maybe a faint bit of stickiness. Chewing is easy, while tearing off a bite is easy as well.
The chewing starts out feeling tender with a light bit of rubber character. After several chews, it breaks down into a meaty feel, with still rubbery chewing. But once chewed down to a soft mass, it feel like just like a steak cooked medium-rare.
I see tiny flecks and streaks of fat on some pieces, perhaps enough to add a light marbleized flavor. Otherwise, I see no gristle or tendon. I don't encounter much stringiness and don't really find any unchewable tissues.
As for clean eating, it's mostly clean with just a fine film of stickiness on my finger, but still dry enough to type on my keyboard.
Ria's RoadKill Jerky sells this Teriyaki beef jerky at a price of $7.99 for a 4oz package. You can buy four of their 8oz packages at a discounted price of $53.99. Shipping is free. That works out to a price of $1.69 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.69 per ounce price, this is a good value. Compared to other brands of jerky sold in stores, this has better flavor, much better meat consistency, and much better chewing texture. You're basically paying bargain-bin prices for high-quality jerky.
As a teriyaki jerky, at the same $1.69 per ounce price, it's a good value. I get only a light teriyaki flavor, just light enough to recognize, but still emphasizing the real wood smoked meat flavor. Still, it's priced lower than other major brands of teriyaki jerky, that it's still a better buy.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Teriyaki beef jerky from Ria's RoadKill Jerky offers a teriyaki taste in a light amount, just enough to offer the familiar Japanese-style marinade flavor, but still putting all the emphasis on the great taste of real wood smoked beef.
It's hard to evaluate, however, how authentic the teriyaki flavor is due to the lighter level of flavor. I would prefer to get a bit more of that teriyaki. I also couldn't pick up any of the ginger, which is an ingredient I really like in teriyaki.
Otherwise, it's still an awesome jerky just for its great tasting, real wood smoked flavor, and the rich natural meat flavors that come out of this. Also supporting it's goodness is the excellent meat consistency and great chewing texture, and overall tender, easy chewing.
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