It's roots goes back to Alex's grandfather "gramps", who was a beef jerky hobbyist. Gramps would make jerky each year during the Christmas season and stuff stockings with it. As Alex got older, he started helping Gramps make jerky and eventually learned the whole recipe and process. He teamed up with his friend Richie and the two started Long Beach Jerky Co.
This "Gramps' Original" variety is the company's flagship offering, though they offer two others flavors, Spicy Teriyaki and Buffalo Wing, which we'll be reviewing later. Their jerky is made from brisket meat. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith actually gave an endorsement of this jerky.
Beef, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, onion powder, cayenne pepper, sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, rosemary.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a salty, saucy flavor with a noticeable onion influence. The saltiness gains strength as it stays in my mouth with hints of garlic and a faint bit of spicy heat.
The chewing brings in a more varied seasoning blend with the onion and garlic becoming a little more defined, and the spicy heat kicks up just a touch. The soy sauce really comes out in the chewing, giving this jerky a more rich and savory flavor. Touches of the worcestershire can be detected if you look for it. But the seasonings really make this bold, like a packet of dried BBQ rub.
Otherwise, the flavor that seems to define this jerky starts with the salty seasoning blend weighted towards onion and garlic. It's a significant saltiness, perhaps registering as "high" for my personal preferences. The soy sauce offers the other big impact flavor but comes in somewhere in the middle of chewing, perhaps as the seasonings wear off. There's a light bit of heat to this and towards the end of chewing the natural meat flavors become noticeable.
The heat in this registers on my personal heat scale at "mild medium" (level 2 out of 5). The high saltiness of this jerky tends to make it feel hotter than it really is.
Overall, the ingredients combine to create a jerky that has a lot of flavor, with a high saltiness, but a savory concoction of largely soy sauce, onion, garlic, and cayenne, that strangely resembles something bold and rich like a BBQ rub.
These appear to be cuts of whole meat, advertised as beef brisket, sliced thick into medium sized pieces.
It's largely a dry jerky with a faintly moist surface feel. They maintain a good deal of flexibility. Biting off pieces can require a little twisting and pulling, though most are actually easy enough that it's not an issue. Chewing is "chewy" but overall not that bad.
The chewing texture starts out feeling stiff and slightly rubbery, but after some chews it breaks down and feels just like real meat. Some pieces have some significant streaks of fat that make it feel more mushy. Once chewed down to a soft mass, this feels just like eating a real piece of steak.
I do see several pieces with streaks of fat in them. I haven't encountered any gristle or tendon, however. There is some stringiness, which seems to be the norm with brisket-based jerky, though it tends to be more minimal with this sample.
As for clean eating, it's mostly clean. My fingers don't pick up much residue, though there is a fair amount of seasoning falling off as I bite off pieces.
Long Beach Jerky Co. sells this Gramps' Original from its website at a price of $6.00 for a 2.5oz package. They actually sell a variety bundle where you get three packages of jerky, one from each flavor, for $14.00. Add to that flat rate shipping of $5.05, and it works out to $2.54 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.54 per ounce price, it's a good value. Compared to other brands of jerky sold in stores, it's priced higher, but it seems to offer better flavor and chewing. Even though with a little more fat than the store brands, it still looks and feel more like natural beef jerky as opposed to other brands that look scientifically-altered .
I'm giving this jerky a good rating.
This Gramps' Original from Long Beach Jerky Co. packs in a lot of flavor, offering a mixture of onion and garlic seasoning, light cayenne pepper heat and a marinade of mostly soy sauce with a splash of worcestershire. Combined, it somewhat resembles the flavor of a bold, rich BBQ rub.
It's actually on the high side of salty for my personal preference. I don't actually know the sodium content, but it still tastes salty. It would actually pair well with a lightly hopped beer, like a brown ale or a bock.
Meat-wise, it offers a thick cuts of beef brisket, with a fair amount of fat streaks, which is expected with brisket. But yet the stringiness seemed to be less than normal for brisket, and overall amounted to a steak-like chewing texture.
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