Monday, September 22, 2008

Gourmet Jerky - Natural Beef Jerky

Gourmet Jerky - Natural Beef JerkyGourmet Jerky is the name of a beef jerky manufacturer based in Claremont, CA. It's been in operation since 1992. Their focus is on making "mouth-watering jerky products to the world's most discriminating customers", placing customer satisfaction as their number one concern.

The brand uses no sodium nitrite or monosodium glutamate, and no sugar.

Their jerky is sold in specialty shops and farmer's markets throughout Southern California, as well as through their website.


Beef, soy sauce, water, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper.


Most of the flavor from this jerky comes from the chew; there isn't much surface taste from this to enjoy. When I pop a piece into my mouth and suck on it for awhile, all I got is a slight smoky flavor. Then as soon as I chew down, the natural meat flavors leach out along with a bit of saltiness.

Black pepper is another flavor that I get, but it's presence seems to vary. It's mostly when my teeth crack open a pepper chunk that I get a burst of peppery flavor. After several pieces, I'm getting a good black pepper aftertaste.

There's also a bit of spiciness to this, as evidenced by the red pepper listed in the ingredients list. It's only slight, however. I feel just a bit of a burn in the back of my tongue, but I'd rate this as mild, or perhaps mild-medium, for those of you with tender tongues.

The natural meat flavors is largely what dominates the taste of this jerky. It has a taste that's very similar to a grilled steak, like a rib eye or porterhouse. And for being void of preservatives, it retains a fresh taste.

As for the other seasonings listed in the ingredients, there's perhaps only a slight presence. The soy sauce is detectable, but is largely represented as a saltiness. The garlic and onion powder is perhaps not well noticed on their own, but contribute to the overall flavor of this jerky.

And as for the saltiness, I don't see this jerky as being salty by any means. There's just enough in there to enhance the natural meat flavors.

Overall, it's a very tasty jerky that largely emphasizes the great taste of real beef, and throws in the added taste dimension of black pepper, and a bit of red pepper kick.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be slices of whole meat, sliced thin, and in medium to large sized pieces.

This is a thin and dry type of jerky, one that is a little bit brittle. It's very easy to tear a piece apart and very easy to chew. It has a crunchy nature to it that adds to the overall snacking satisfaction.

This jerky is also a little oily to the touch. It leaves a thin film of oil on my fingers. It's perhaps due to the vacuum sealed package drawing the oil up from the meat.

The meat itself appears to be pretty lean. I found no chunks of fat, though I can see some decent marbilization. But nothing chewy in the way of tendon or gristle.

Overall it's a great meat consistency.

Gourmet Jerky - Natural Beef Jerky

Gourmet Jerky - Natural Beef Jerky
Product Value

Gourmet Jerky sell this Natural Beef Jerky variety from its website at a price of $7.00 for a 4 ounce package. That works out to a price of $1.75 per ounce, putting this into the average price range.

For general jerky snacking purposes this offers a great value at this price. It's very snackable with its emphasis on natural meat flavors, enhanced with salt, red and black pepper, along with a great meat consistency that offers a bit of crunchiness.


I'm giving this a good rating.

I really liked the strong natural meat flavors that come out in this highlighted by the seasonings. The soy sauce, red & black pepper, garlic and onion make just enough of a presence to give you some added enjoyment. And the bit of crunchiness that I mentioned actually provides some extra snacking satisfaction.

However, I just felt that it was still rather light on seasonings, hence why I didn't give this a higher rating. When I popped a piece into my mouth, I really didn't get much flavor at all until I started chewing. I'd like to get something that goes right to work on my palate.

Simplicity is a word that comes to me with this jerky. Folks who don't like sugar in their jerky will really like this stuff.

A creamy stout beer would go nice with this.

Rating: Good

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