Appalachian Jerky Company.
Naked Cow Jerky was launched to specifically to cater to a growing audience seeking minimally processed jerky, made with natural ingredients. Their jerky offerings are made with 100% grass fed beef, sea salt, and spiced. They use no artificial preservatives, nitrates/nitrites, MSG or soy. They claim to be "paleo-friendly", gluten-free, and made in a USDA inspected facility. They are currently selling in Boston, MA area at various retail locations and Cross-Fit gyms. It's also available online.
This "Honey" variety is based on the "Smoke" variety we reviewed last week, but graced with a dousing of honey. The company claims it, "sweetens the flavor and compliments the natural spice of the jerky".
Grass-fed beef, honey, sea salt, paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, beet powder, celery powder.
The first flavors to hit my palate are a saltiness and a touch of garlic. The chewing brings on a stronger saltiness, along with some black pepper. The natural meat flavors are well noticeable in this.
For being marketed as, "Honey", and described as "sweetening the flavor", it doesn't quite hold up. The unique flavor of honey is difficult to identify in this. There is a very faint honey flavor that I can pick up, but it's too light for something that emphasizes honey. The sweetness is also hard to identify. It's lightly noticeable when compared against the company's, "Smoke" variety, but without the comparison, you might not realize there's a sweet ingredient in this.
Otherwise, the primary taste profile of this jerky is salt, at a moderate to high level, and light amounts of garlic and black pepper. The natural meat flavor is well noticeable in this, and offers a little bit of a marbleized character.
The meat consistency seems excellent. It's dry, but feels soft and tender. It has a meaty chew, and once chewed down soft, feels just like a piece of steak. I can see some small bits of fat on these pieces, but otherwise there's little to no stringiness, and nothing unchewable.
This Honey variety from Naked Cow Jerky doesn't quite give out a honey flavor, at least not significant enough to support the large, bold labeling on the package. It's not really that sweet at all either. For the most part, this jerky tastes just like the company's "Smoke" flavor that I reviewed last week. If anything, there's a subtle sweetness to this, but it's still too faint for something that markets itself as being sweet. Otherwise, it's still a very good jerky on its own merits. The marbleized, natural meat flavor comes through well. The seasonings compliment instead of getting in the way. Even though it's still a simple, unremarkable flavor, it manages to belt out a "natural" taste and chew. It tastes fresh, clean, and homemade, but retains the meaty chewing and tender consistency that we tend to expect from packaged jerky.
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