Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Golden Valley Natural - Beef Jerky Peppered

Golden Valley Naturals - Beef Jerky PepperedGolden Valley Natural is a brand of jerky focusing on using organic ingredients. Based out of Idaho Falls, ID, the company has been making beef jerky since 1999.

The company was founded by Roger Ball, a well known name in the jerky business, having started King B Snacks in 1968, a brand that invented the "shredded jerky" concept, and was among the first to introduce a whole-muscle type of jerky. King B has since found its way into truck stops and convenience stores all across the USA. In 2003, Jack Link's bought King B.

In 2004, Roger Ball created "Jerky Direct" a brand of jerky that sells exclusively through direct sales, otherwise known as multi-level marketing. Jerky Direct gets its jerky from Golden Valley Natural, and I believe is exactly the same jerky.

Organic jerky came about as a way to get penetration into the organic food stores like Whole Foods Markets. I don't believe it was created to offer meat-snackers with a more cleaner-conscience, but as a way to attract sales from those consumers who had previously avoided processed meats.


Organic beef, organic evaporated cane juice, water, organic soy sauce, organic apple cider vinegar, sea salt, organic black pepper, organic paprika, natural smoke flavoring, organic onion powder, organic garlic powder.

I'm disappointed they didn't use "organic water".


There is a slight sweetness and a slight smokiness that first hits my taste buds when I popped a piece into my mouth. After that, the taste of black pepper starts coming through. Finally, the natural meat flavors tend to surface.

While the black pepper is clearly visible, in moderate amounts, it's not an over-powering taste, but after a few pieces it does leave a peppery aftertaste in my mouth.

As for the natural meat flavor, I can taste it, but it's not very well defined. Does it taste organic? Well, no. Organic is nothing I've been able to taste, though I don't doubt others with far more jerky-eating experience than I may claim to discern. But being that this is "organic beef", I was hoping it would offer a strong meat taste so that I could enjoy it for what it is. Instead, it's a very mild taste.

Considering this contains no preservatives, it still retains a fresh taste.

Otherwise, it's not salty at all.

This jerky has a good taste that I find pleasing, and offers a decent amount of black pepper flavor. I just wish it could provide more of the natural meat flavors.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be real cuts of meat, sliced into medium to thick thickness, and in small to medium sized pieces.

This is a dry jerky, but still soft and tender to a degree. Some pieces were more soft than others. They tear apart with some moderate effort, while others tear apart more easily. They all chewed with ease at some lesser or greater extent.

About half of the pieces have some flecks or small streaks of fat in them. I found a few pieces to contain small amounts of tendon. Otherwise no gristle.

I found the meat consistency to provide a very good jerky-eating experience.

Golden Valley Naturals - Beef Jerky Peppered

Golden Valley Naturals - Beef Jerky Peppered

Product Value

I paid $6.69 for this 3oz package at a Henry's Market in Temecula, CA, which works out to a price of $2.23 per ounce, making this an expensive buy.

If eating organic foods is important to you, this is probably a "good" value. Most organic jerky is priced in this ballpark, and while this particular offering from Golden Valley Natural has a good taste, it offers a mild taste in just about every aspect.

If it's not important that your beef jerky is organic, then I wouldn't bother buying this. There's so much beef jerky out there for a lower price, and offering a similar or better taste.


Golden Valley Naturals - Beef Jerky PepperedI'm giving this an "average" rating.

While it has good taste, and a good meat consistency, it just doesn't offer me a remarkable taste. I do find it snackable, I did enjoy this for general snacking purposes. If it could provide more meaty taste I could give it a "good" rating. If it could also pack in more flavor that lasts throughout the chew, I could give it a best rating.

I do applaude manufacturers trying to make a beef jerky from 100% organic ingredients, and I wanted to find something good to say about this brand. But, I still find this as average compared to all the other beef jerky I've had, organic or not.

But for those who demand organic beef jerky, you might find this above average compared to other organic jerky. If you like mild-tasting jerky, this may also be your thing. Not to forget, this could also be touted as a soft and tender variety, if that's important to you also.

Rating: Average

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1 comment:

  1. I buy this jerky because they make a gluten-free sweet and spicy variety. Most jerky makers use wheat-based soy sauce. For those of us sensitive to gluten, Golden Valley is a tasty option. I like the flavor and consistency of the slices, with just enough heat and just enough sweet.