Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Golden Island Pork Jerky - Grilled Barbecue

Golden Island Pork Jerky - Grilled BarbecueGolden Island is a brand of jerky that specializes in marrying together the flavors of asian cuisine with beef jerky, or in this case, pork jerky.

It's parent company, Universal Food Company, has been around since 1952, and was better known for its brand of "Formosa" asian snack foods. It wasn't until 2002 that they launched the Golden Island brand to take advantage of the high-protein, low-carb craze.

It's products are limited largely to Sam's Clubs in the western United States, and in specialty food stores. I've even found them in Fry's electronic stores.

A couple of years ago, I was contacted by a marketing representative for Golden Island, who sent me a package of this very same Pork Jerky for review on Junk Food Blog. She explained to me that this stuff was meant to mimic the very same BBQ Pork that you'd find at a chinese restaurant.


Pork, sugar, soy sauce, fructose, soybean oil, mirin wine, salt, michiu wine, spices, sodium nitrite cure, sodium erythorbate, disodium inosinate & disodium guanylate, BHT.


These pieces are indeed sweet, which I guess is similar to the sweet glaze you often find on chinese dishes like Orange Chicken, and BBQ Pork. Probably the next thing I taste is the smokiness, followed by the natural meat flavors.

I guess I'd have to say that this tastes like pork. It doesn't taste like beef, but then again I can't say that this has a definite pork taste. But it does indeed taste just like the BBQ Pork dish you'd find at a chinese restaurant, but perhaps more like a chinese buffet or take-out, rather than a family-style restaurant.

Another thing I notice right away is the amount of oil on these pieces. Actually, that might be the very first thing my tongue notices, the oily texture.

It's not very salty at all.

Overall, I think this Pork Jerky tastes good. I find it rather snackable, though I keep wanting to find an extra flavoring in there. I think Golden Island ought to add some kind contrast to the heavy sweet flavor, maybe a bit of asian-style chili sauce, or even some diced garlic. As it is, it's sort of on the bland-side.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be slices of real meat, sliced to average thickness, and in medium sized pieces.

The meat is semi-moist, with an oily glaze on the surface. I find myself having to lick my fingers before typing. These pieces are very easy to eat and chew. They tear off with the grain very easily, and only slightly more effort against the grain.

I don't find any pieces of tendon or gristle as I did with the two Golden Island beef jerkies I reviewed previously. I found a couple of pieces with small bits of fat. Otherwise, this jerky is very lean.

Overall, this pork jerky has a consistency that's quite enjoyable, and provides a great jerky experience for snacking.

Golden Island Pork Jerky - Grilled Barbecue

Golden Island Pork Jerky - Grilled Barbecue

Product Value

I paid $5.99 for this 4oz bag at a Cost Plus World Market in Temecula, CA. That works out to $1.50 per oz, putting this into the average price range.

This jerky provides a great value in my opinion. For the price, this is easy to tear apart and chew, with no tendon or gristle to get in your way, and actually tastes like the same BBQ Pork you'd expect to find at a chinese restaurant.

For snacking purposes this is what you want, something that satisfies without demanding too much of your attention, aside from having to clean off your fingers everytime you take a bite.


Golden Island Pork Jerky - Grilled BarbecueI'm giving this a "good" rating.

The only thing that kept me from giving this the top rating, is that it's still rather bland for jerky. Albeit the company wanted to emulate the same BBQ Pork you'd find at a chinese restaurant, the fact is that not all BBQ Pork is the same from one chinese restaurant to another. Some is spicier, some is sweeter, etc.

I'd like to see this add that one extra flavor ingredient that contrasts against the sweet, like a chili-sauce, or bits of diced garlic. Then you'd have a pork jerky that offers awesome taste and great eating.

Otherwise, it's still great for snacking, especially if you're in the mood for some chinese food.

Rating: Good

Buy this online:


  1. Why is it that when I clicked into Amazon.com for the goldent island pork jerky they indicated they could not make a match - unable to recognize golden island pork jerky. Where can we PURCHASE this item in San Francisco??

  2. I've seen the Golden Island Pork Jerky at Costcos in the Bay Area.

    I also see it onsale by the case on amazon.com


  3. I've bought this at our local Costco in SF in 12oz package for like 8.99 i think.