Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Golden Valley Natural - Buffalo Jerky - Teriyaki

Golden Valley Natural - Buffalo Jerky - TeriyakiIs there not enough teriyaki jerky in this world?

The proliferation of snacks that combine both sweet & salty flavors the past decade have made teriyaki a name that no meat snacker can hide from. I personally love teriyaki, but found so much teriyaki jerky to miss the mark on true teriyaki taste. It seems most of it is just soy sauce mixed with sugar without regards to the ginger and sake components. It largely comes out tasting sweet on the surface, and just a hint of soy sauce inside the meat.

So this variety of teriyaki buffalo jerky from Golden Valley Natural tends inspire doubt in my mind that it might be different. Golden Valley Natural is a sister company of Intermountain Natural, LLC, the company that actually makes this jerky, as well as jerky for many other "natural food" stores like Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods Market. Golden Valley Natural is sold through several online jerky retailers.

This jerky goes on to claim that it's free of added hormones, antibiotics, preservatives, no added MSG, or artificial ingredients.


Buffalo, sugar, water, soy sauce, pineapple juice concentrate, apple cider vinegar, salt, flavorings, paprika, smoke flavoring, citric acid.


The first taste I get from the surface of these pieces is a sweet flavor followed by a bit of smokiness. When I chew down, I get more sweetness, and maybe just a slight bit of salty taste.

That sweet flavor is not particularly heavy, but still strong enough to dominate the overall flavor of this jerky. I don't taste any of the natural meat flavors, however, which is something I've found consistent with Intermountain Natural. But despite this jerky having no preservatives, it still has a fresh taste.

In fact, I don't really taste any teriyaki either. I'm not sure that it's even correct to call this teriyaki because I don't even taste the soy sauce. It's perhaps only correct to call this sweet.

Otherwise what we have here is largely a sweet jerky, that's moderately sweet, with a bit of smoky flavor, followed by a slight salt flavor. No meat flavor, no teriyaki flavor, and nothing else to taste.

Meat Consistency

This appears to be slices of whole meat, sliced average thickness, and in small to medium sized pieces.

It's largely a soft and tender jerky, being semi-moist. Some pieces were bit drier than others. It's easy to tear apart, and easy to chew.

It doesn't really chew like a real steak, however. As I chew this, it's clear that this meat went through a tenderization process, and left it with a soft, slightly mushy, texture.

I didn't find any bits of fat, but I did find some pieces that had significant amounts of gristle (see close up photo below). It still chewed easily, however.

Golden Valley Natural - Buffalo Jerky - Teriyaki

Golden Valley Natural - Buffalo Jerky - Teriyaki
Product Value

I acquired this jerky from, which doesn't sell it anymore. But you can buy this from at a price of $38.86 for eight packages of 3.5 ounces each. That works out to a price of $1.38 per ounce, making this an average priced buy.

For that price it has a fair value, in terms of general jerky snacking purposes. It will give you a decent taste, and provide some snackability, but it won't really inspire you to buy this again.

As a teriyaki variety, you're not getting your money's worth, because I don't find any teriyaki taste in this. This is mostly just a sweet jerky.


I'm giving this a fair rating.

While it has some snackability, it doesn't provide a lot. That really hurts this jerky's rating because I do put a lot of weight on snackability. What also hurt it is that it does not live up to its billing as a teriyaki jerky. And then it's bland, providing mostly a sweet flavor, and not much else, not even natural meat flavors.

But I did not go so low as to assign this a dog treats rating because I found that I could still eat this without flinching or grimacing.

It may suffice to eat this while concentrating on something else, like driving, or chatting with a friend. Otherwise, it has few merits of its own to appreciate. Though, being free of preservatives, nitrite, and MSG, and still being priced relatively low (from, may cause low-carb/low-fat dieters to give this a closer look.

For a recommended beer variety, I'd accompany this with an IPA.

Rating: Fair

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