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 "Smoke" variety is based on the "Primal Smoke" variety from Appalachian Jerky Company, and then modified for the specific audience that Naked Cow Jerky is targeted to.
Grass-fed beef, sea salt, paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, beet powder, celery powder.
The first flavors to hit my palate are light salt and a touch of garlic. There's a light, but noticeable smokiness. The chewing brings on more saltiness, but adds a little bit of black pepper. There's a light natural meat flavor too.
For being marketed as "Smoke", it seems to hold up. It's only a light smoky flavor, just enough to give you what it markets. There's also a light smoky aroma when opening the bag.
Otherwise, the primary taste profile of this jerky is salt, with a touch of garlic and black pepper, and a light smokiness. The level of saltiness seems to straddle the line between moderate to high. The natural meat flavors show through enough, and actually resemble something like a grilled steak with a dash of seasoning salt. The natural meat flavor has a bit of fatty character, as if made from marbleized meat.
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 Smoke variety from Naked Cow Jerky offers up a simple flavor that seems to compliment this jerky's marbleized, natural meat flavor. I found the smoke flavor to be light, while the saltiness to be somewhat high. But after eating several pieces, I decided that the real star of this show is the meat consistency and natural meat flavor. This really does have a "natural" taste and chew, like you're eating something that came "farm to package". The soft, tender chew, combined with the steak-like texture, really helps sell this character. Otherwise, the flavor itself is unremarkable, and nothing bold or creative. Rather, it's the simplicity, natural ingredients, and excellent meat consistency that wins.
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