Both were working in the financial services industry, working for such big wigs as Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, and Bank of America. Somewhere along the way, brother Ryan wanted a more "meaningful life" and decided that dehydrating slices of meat would show him the way. At first he tried buying out an existing jerky brand, but ended up launching his own brand instead.
Grassroots Jerky describes its journey as an "uncompromising evolution", from using ranchers practicing ethical, sustainable farming, to creating a jerky free of hormones, antibiotics, unnatural ingredients, soy and gluten. They also claim their beef is "vegetarian fed", as opposed to meat-fed beef.
Vegetarian fed beef, water, organic agave nectar, sea salt, granulated garlic, onion powder, spices, celery powder.
The first flavors to hit the tongue is a saucy, seasoned flavor, almost comparable to worcestershire, but not quite as tangy. The chewing reveals a well-defined, aged natural meat flavor. There's a taste of garlic in this, along with a light degree of black pepper. Overall, it manages to create savory character without the soy sauce and MSG, and makes this jerky taste much like a seasoned steak.
Otherwise, the flavors that seems to define this jerky is largely a seasoned, grilled steak, marinated in a light salt brine. It has a lot of natural meat flavors, tasting similar to dry-aged beef. The use of onion and celery powder is noticeable in light amounts. There's a saucy quality to it, similar to au jus sauce, but lighter.
In terms of spiciness, it has a light level of heat, mostly from black pepper and celery, which is probably not noticeable to spicy food lovers, but certainly something that tame tongues might find intolerable. I'd rate is as mild-medium on my personal heat scale (level 2 out of 5).
The meat consistency is mostly lean with a few small streaks of fat. I didn't encounter any stringiness or unchewable tissues. For the most part, it's easy to eat, though some pieces were tough. It's largely a dry jerky, with a slight bit of moisture felt on the surface. It tends to chew dry, still somewhat steak-like, but dry like it was cooked well-done.
Verdict: Grassroots Jerky manages to create a good overall flavor, reminiscent of a light au jus sauce, seasoned with garlic, onion, and black pepper, but dishing out a fair amount of natural meat flavors too. It ends up having a flavor like seasoned, grilled steak cooked well done. It has a good meat consistency, and good chewing texture, though tends to feel dry.
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