Recently, the company changed the way it raises cattle, returning to its roots on herdsmanship, grass-fed, without antibiotics and growth hormones, and allowing their animals roam freely. Their jerky is made with no MSG, no sodium nitrite, and no artificial ingredients.
This Peppered Beef Jerky is part of their "Slab Style" line. The company claims to make it the "old fashioned way", using thick slices of marbled Angus beef which is then seasoned and marinated. The line also includes Teriyaki, Original, and Red Pepper.
Beef, water, salt, brown sugar, spices, dehydrated vegetables (garlic, onion, bell pepper), sugar, dehydrated onion peel, oleoresin of paprika.
The first flavors that hit the palate is a light saltiness and touches of seasonings, mostly as garlic and onion. There's also a faint sweet. The chewing brings on more seasonings and a bit more saltiness. I can pick up a touch of bell pepper, and perhaps celery seed. The black pepper comes on stronger as the chewing goes on.
For being advertised as, "Peppered", it holds up. It only has light-to-moderate level of black pepper flavor, with a similar sprinkling of black pepper bits visible. I pick up just enough to black pepper taste to where it becomes a significant ingredient, while still letting me taste the other seasonings.
For the most part, this tastes much like the company's Original Beef Jerky, but with some extra black pepper thrown in. It has that same old fashioned character of salt, garlic, black pepper, along with some bell pepper and celery seed, just a little more black pepper.
As for the level of spiciness, the black pepper creates some heat. I'd rate this on my personal heat scale as Mild-Medium (level 2 out of 5).
The meat consistency seems good. It's lightly marbleized, and I don't encounter much stringiness or unchewable tissues. It starts out chewy, with a fair amount of rubbery character. Once it chews down, it takes on a meaty feel, but never really gets to a steak-like texture. It still retains some rubbery quality while still feel meaty.
Verdict: This Peppered variety of Lucky Brand Jerky is much like the company's Original, but with a little more black pepper. It ends up being more pungent with that sharp black pepper bite, and a little bit of heat. But overall, you get the same flavor and chewing as the Original.
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