As the jerky market has migrated towards preservative-free, natural ingredients, so has Country Archer. The company claims it's jerky is handcrafted, made in small batches, using all natural ingredients.
This Cracked Pepper with Sea Salt flavor is simply described as having a "truckload of pepper", and is also marked as "gluten free".
Beef, brown sugar, gluten free soy sauce, water, pineapple juice, garlic, black pepper, sea salt.
The first flavors that come to my palate are a light sweet, with a faint bit of pineapple. The chewing brings on a bit more of the pineapple, with light amounts of black pepper, and a hint of soy sauce.
For being labeled as "Cracked Pepper with Sea Salt", it barely holds up. I do taste a modest amount of black pepper, but not a cracked pepper flavor. It's doesn't have that sharp, pungent, freshly cracked flavor that I'm used to tasting in other similarly labeled brands. I also don't really identify any significant saltiness. There's a light saltiness overall, but at an amount that I would find as average with most brands of jerky. Otherwise, for a black peppered jerky, it's somewhat light on black pepper.
In a sense, this compares somewhat the company's Original variety I reviewed earlier. I felt the Original had a modest black pepper flavor as well, though a little more soy sauce and worcestershire flavor than this. This has a more clean flavor. However, as a jerky that markets both black pepper and sea salt, you're getting average amounts of both.
Otherwise, the primary taste profile of this jerky is a noticeable sweet, with a light to moderate black pepper, touches of pineapple flavor, a bit of soy sauce, and a light saltiness.
The chewing feels chewy, more chewy and laborious than the company's Original. Overall, it's still tolerable, however. It has a meaty texture, though not at all like steak, but also a touch mushy, and not at all like a piece of steak. There's just a little bit of fat visible, and nothing stringy encountered.
This Cracked Pepper and Sea Salt beef jerky from Country Archer gives you a noticeable black pepper flavor, though not the "truckload" the company claims, and not the freshly cracked flavor that I had expected. This is more like granulated pepper than cracked pepper. Otherwise, it seems this jerky could have done a little more to live up to its hype, put more focus on the cracked pepper and sea salt, and less so on the sweet. The chewing also feels a bit more chewy than the company's Original, requiring a little more effort to get through. This has a cleaner flavor overall, which I think helps create that "all natural" taste.
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