Thursday, February 27, 2014

Well Food Company - Natural Beef Steak Sticks

Well Food Company is a brand of sports snacks that originally launched in 2009 as Paleo Brands Inc. It was started by John Welbourn, former offensive tackle with the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, as well as his friend Joe Cappucio, founder of Del Mar Seafoods.

By 2013 the company had shed its "Paleo" name to become Well Food Company to encompass non-paleo snacks. Their offerings include packages of beef jerky, beef steak sticks, beef bars, and mixtures of jerky with fruit and nuts. They also offer whey protein bars and chocolates. Their jerky is marketed to athletes, health food, and paleo diet consumers.

This Natural Beef Steak Sticks is labeled as "Original", as well as "soy free" and "gluten free", using grass-fed beef raised without added hormones or antibiotics. It has no MSG and no preservatives and is said to meet Paleo requirements.

Ingredients

Beef, water, salt, organic seasoning, celery baste aid, spice.

Taste

The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light saltiness and a touch of seasoning, perhaps garlic, onion, and black pepper.

The chewing brings in an increased saltiness with a noticeable natural meat flavor, and a bit more of the seasoning.

For being marketed as "Natural Beef Steak Sticks", it seems to fit the bill pretty well. They offer a look and feel much like strips of beef steak, and they do offer a fair amount of natural meat flavor.

And that's largely what I get out of these strips. The flavor starts out with a saltiness, along with a blend of garlic, onion, and black pepper, and then it's the natural flavor of beef. Compared to the company's Natural Beef Jerky that I reviewed earlier, this has far more natural beef flavor.

Otherwise, it's a fairly simple jerky flavor, which in and of itself is good in that it lets you enjoy the flavor of beef in an old fashioned recipe. But otherwise, it's mild in flavor, aside from a blend of seasonings and salt. If it contained some real wood smoke flavor, it would be awesome.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be cuts of whole meat, sliced into strips of varying between 1 to 6 inches in length, and widths of about 1/2 inch.

This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel. It can take some effort to bite off chunks and chewing varies of moderate to chewy.

The chewing texture starts with a good deal of initial chewing resistance. It softens up after some chews and takes on a meaty feel. As you get it chewed down to a soft mass, it feel very much like a chunk of real steak, cooked medium-well.

I don't see any pieces of fat on these strips, and I don't see any gristle or tendon. The chewing doesn't reveal any stringiness, and I find no unchewable wads.

As for clean eating, it seems to handle very cleanly, leaving only a fine film of oil on my fingertips.
well food company

well food company

Snack Value

Well Food Company markets this jerky in 3oz packages. They sell them online at a price of $44.99 for 6 packages. Shipping works out to $5.99 when shipped to Southern California. That works out to a price of $2.83 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.83 per ounce price, it's a decent value. Compared to major brands of jerky sold in stores, this has better flavor, a better meat consistency and chewing texture, though priced somewhat higher.

But as a sport snack, being gluten-free, soy-free, hormone free, antibiotic free, grass fed, no MSG, and no preservatives, it's better, at a good value. It's hard to find jerky with all those benefits, with an overall good flavor, meat consistency and chewing.

Rating

well food company nutrition
I'm going to give this a good rating.

These Natural Beef Steak Sticks from Well Food Company offer an old fashioned-style flavor that brings out the goodness of natural beef flavor. With a simple, yet tried and true recipe of garlic, onion, black pepper and salt, you get a jerky that tastes and chews like eating chunks of a real steak, seasoned and grilled.

But where this jerky wins big is with meeting the needs of athletes, fitness, and health consumers. It's gluten-free, soy-free, MSG free, preservative free, grass-fed beef, no added hormones or antibiotics, and made with all natural ingredients. It's hard to find a meat snack that tastes natural, and is natural.

Compared to the company's Natural Beef Jerky I reviewed earlier, these Natural Beef Steak Sticks are way better, and priced less too.  But compared to the hundreds of other brands I've reviewed, they don't quite reach the "wow factor" that I look for in a top-rated jerky.

Rating: Good

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