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.
This Sweet & Spicy variety makes no additional claims, other than being "sweet & spicy".
Beef, brown sugar, teriyaki sauce, spice, garlic, vinegar, onion powder, liquid smoke, sodium nitrite.
The first flavors that hit my palate is a decent level of sweet, but also salt. The garlic and onion becomes noticeable, along with a faint spicy tingle. The chewing brings on a bit more spiciness, including a light black pepper, as well as a light soy sauce and teriyaki.
For being marketed as "Sweet & Spicy", I think it holds up enough. It's definitely sweet. Not over-the-top, but enough that it's significant. The "spicy" part doesn't give off much chile pepper heat, but more of a sharp, pungent blend of black pepper, garlic, and onion. So, think of spicy in terms of a spice blend, as opposed to something hot. But there is still a light bit of heat, yet it's weak enough that it feels overall mild.
Otherwise, the primary taste profile is that of sweet with a seasoning blend of salt, black pepper, garlic, and onion. The teriyaki and soy sauce flavors are light but noticeable.
I find some streaks of fat on some pieces, which adds a light fatty flavor. Otherwise, the stronger sweet makes this jerky somewhat gummy to chew, and lightly sticky to handle. Overall, it's chewy, but still somewhat easy to chew. The chewing texture starts out gummy, but takes on a somewhat meaty character as the sweetness wears off. There's a light bit of stringiness, but nothing unchewable.
This Sweet & Spicy from Astro Fresh Jerky does a good job of giving you plenty of sweet without going overboard, and a spiciness from a bold blend of seasonings. It's not really hot, though it might seem like it is. It's really just the garlic and black pepper that make it seem that way. While I found this jerky very snackable for its seasonings and teriyaki marinade, I didn't really find anyting unique, creative, or unusual with this recipe. It tastes something comparable to other Sweet & Spicy offerings from major brands of jerky. Even the meat consistency and chewing texture is not particularly artisan, and feels more mainstream. So for that matter, I felt it achieves its goal of being snackable and satisfying, but not doing enough to differentiate itself.
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