Making the claim that it's the first beef jerky company made with traditional Filipino recipes sold in the United States, Astig Beef Jerky is made with USDA approved grain fed beef. The name "Astig" is a Tagalog word meaning "cool", "badass" or "kickass".
This Tocino variety is actually the mild version of its Spicy Tocino that I reviewed earlier. It's described the company as "Traditional Philippine Tocino, with a light touch of spice", taking the traditional tocino style cooking, and moving it into beef jerky form.
Beef, brown sugar, pineapple juice, hot & spicy banana sauce, lemon lime soda, soy sauce, garlic, pepper.
The first thing I taste is a strong sweetness with blend of pineapple juice and the banana sauce. The chewing brings on more of the same flavors, perhaps in greater definition. Faint bits of soy sauce and garlic is noticeable.
Not being familiar with tocino or Filipino cuisine, it's hard to evaluate how much like actual tocino-style cooking this resembles. However, this does have a very unique taste that resembles much of the South Pacific style flavors that I've experienced before. It's has that strong fruit influence, more of the tropical variety, and that strong sweetness.
In comparison to the company's "Spicy Tocino" variety I reviewed before, this is certainly mild, offering no spice that I can discern.
Otherwise, the flavors that seem to define this jerky is largely a strong sweetness with a combination of pineapple juice and banana sauce. It's a tropical style fruit influence that seems to take this jerky over, but throws in a light touch of soy sauce and a touch of salt. There's a touch of tanginess in the chewing.
The natural meat flavors are difficult to pick up, creating a light taste.
The meat consistency feels overall tender and moist, but chews a little more dry. It starts off with some chewing resistance, somewhat chewy, but eventually works down to a soft, meaty texture. It's not steak-like however. It's generally easy to chew. I do see bits of fat here and there, and I did encounter some stringiness in the chewing. It's still rather tolerable, however.
Verdict: This Tocino style beef jerky from Astig Jerky offers up a very unique flavor you won't get from any other jerky brand in the United States. It's a mild flavor suitable for all spice tolerances, doling out a tropical fruit blend of pineapple and banana, with a good deal of sweetness, but mixes in a light dose of soy sauce and salt. Unlike its Spicy Tocino brethren, which I didn't find spicy at all, this actually lives up to its billing, and thus I felt is more worthy of a higher rating.
Buy this online: