Saturday, December 7, 2013

Bayou Blend - Luziana Bonfire



bayou blend
Bayou Blend Meat Snacks is a brand of beef jerky based out of Napoleonville, LA. The company was started by Milton Hock in January 2013.

Hock had been making jerky for some 20 years before launching Bayou Blend. He started the business after seeing an opportunity to offer meat snacks with more unique cajun-style flavor than competing brands.

This Luziana Bonfire is claimed to be similar to the Melange Original we reviewed last month, but adding a touch of "bite" to the back end.


Ingredients

Beef, water, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, flavorings, crab boil, red pepper, liquid smoke, onion powder, crab boil liquid, hot sauce.

Taste

The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a salty seasoning flavor comprising of a multitude of spices.

The chewing brings in the same but in more definition, very rich in spice blend, think of oregano, thyme, garlic, onion, basil, et al. There's also that faint bit of citrus I found in the Melange Original. I can also pick up a moderate level of heat.

For being marketed as "Luziana Bonfire", specifically something spicy, it seems to hold up. It definitely has a spicy kick both in terms of heat as well as spice variety. It's quite complex in spicy flavors but it also warms up the blood a little, indicative of chile peppers.

But it doesn't really come across as being too hot. In fact, it seems to have a similar heat level as the Melange Original, perhaps at a "Medium" level (level 3 out of 5) on my personal heat scale. Where this Luziana Bonfire variety differs from the Melange Original, it's that it has more of the hot sauce flavor.

Otherwise, that flavors that seem to define this jerky starts primarily with the complex seasoning blend. It packs a punch of spice flavors along with the red pepper and heat that it could only be described as "cajun". The saucy blend of worcestershire, soy sauce, and teriyaki presents itself as a nice saucy base. There's also that subtle bit of citrus, a little bit of a tangy chew, and light touches of sweet to round out the flavors.

The ingredients coalesce very well to create an addicting flavor that livens up the senses, gets the heart pumping, makes you reach for more.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced thin, and in small bite sized pieces, as well as a good deal of small bits.

This is a dry jerky with a lightly oily surface feel. They have a pliable, soft plastic-like flexibility. Chewing seems to be chewy, but not tough, still somewhat easy.

The chewing texture starts out feeling like soft, pliable plastic with a fair amount of chewing resistance. A few chews into it, and it just starts to break down, and takes on a more meaty resemblance. Once it chews down to a soft mass, it feel much more like a piece of steak cooked well-done.

I don't find any bits or streaks of fat on this jerky, not did I find any gristle or tendon. Because these pieces are cut into small and very small pieces, I don't really pick up any stringiness and found no unchewable wads of tissue.

In terms of clean eating, it's mostly clean with a light bit sticky-oily residue on my fingertips, not enough to require a licking and wiping before touching the keyboard.

bayou blend beef jerky
bayou blend beef jerky

 
Snack Value

Bayou Blend sells this File Gumbo beef jerky from its website at a price of $3.99 per 1.75oz package. If you buy 10 packages, the total comes to $43.49, with sales tax added. That works out to $2.49 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.49 per ounce price, it's a good value. I'm getting a lot of really good flavor, with a characteristic bayou/cajun seasoning, good meat consistency and chewing. Compared to other jerky brands found in stores, it's priced a higher, but well worth the cost.

Rating

I'm giving this a best rating.

This Luziana Bonfire beef jerky from Bayou Blend has a very bold, complex seasoning flavor much like with the company's Melange Original. But it goes on to add even more of the hot sauce and red pepper flavor, making this more tangy, but also giving you more of an endorphin rush from the chile pepper.

It's like a jerky that knocks out the classic cajun experience you tend to expect when you buy something labeled, "Bayou".

The meat consistency seemed great despite having a bunch of tiny bits that make it cumbersome gathering up enough to produce a decent amount of chew. It's not tough to chew, but moderately easy and feels like real steak once its chewed down soft.

I still wasn't able to get much of the natural meat flavors in this, but I felt the extra hot sauce and red pepper in this was enough to wake up the senses and get the heart pumping, for an exciting, enjoying snack.

Rating: Best

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