Since then, Roy has been selling his jerky in local markets and retailers in California. Recently they started a website and are now taking online orders.
Astro Fresh Jerky currently lists 10 varieties of beef jerky and 1 variety of chicken jerky.
Beef, soy sauce, water, black pepper, granulated garlic, liquid smoke, vinegar, onion powder, sodium nitrite.
The first flavors that hit my palate are a saltiness, with a little bit of garlic, and a noticeable soy sauce. The chewing brings on a more defined soy sauce flavor with a bit more salt and garlic. The black pepper is noticeable. There's also a touch of vinegar tanginess in the background.
For being marketed as a black peppered jerky, it seems to hold up well. I do taste a recognizable black pepper flavor in the background, but it doesn't overpower the soy sauce and garlic. It seems to work in tandem to create a trio of flavors. Yet, there's still enough black pepper to generate a spicy bite. On my personal heat scale, I'd rate this as "mild medium" (level 2 out of 5).
Otherwise, the primary taste profile is that of soy sauce, with a combination of garlic and black pepper seasoning. Add a little bit of vinegar tanginess, and that seems to round out the flavor.
The meat consistency seems good. I find some streaks of fat on some pieces, which adds a light fatty flavor and softens the chewing a bit. Other pieces are more lean and chewy, while some become more tough. I find an average amount of stringiness, considering the size and thickness of these pieces. Compared to the company's "Original" variety that we reviewed last month, this Astro Cowboy Peppered feels more meaty, and a lot less gummy, perhaps due to the absence of sugar. The chewing texture feels quite meaty, and in some cases, steak-like.
This Astro Cowboy Peppered from Astro Fresh Jerky manages to offer up a noticeable black pepper flavor and spice without going over-the-top. It tends to keep a good balance between the soy sauce marinade and the garlic seasoning. I also liked faint touch of vinegar tanginess to liven up the chewing. But in comparison to the many other brands of peppered jerky I've reviewed, there's nothing creative or unique about this flavor. The combination of soy sauce, black pepper, and garlic is very common. The meat consistency seems good in that these are very meaty pieces, and that they have a meaty, somewhat steak-like texture. But I also found this jerky a bit dry and chewy, and in some cases, tough.
Overall, it's still very snackable, and actually quite good considering the meaty, steak-like chewing. If anything, this Astro Cowboy Peppered has an old fashioned flavor and chew, comparable to what you might find at a country store up in the mountains.
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