Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Golden Valley Natural - Teriyaki

Golden Valley Natural - TeriyakiDo you ever get that sense of deja vu? That's how this Golden Valley Natural brand is starting to feel, mostly because after reviewing several of their varieties, it all keeps tasting the same. While they offer several flavors, the actual flavor variation is minimal from variety to variety. It's largely a tasteless meat, with a fair amount of sugar, a hint of soy sauce, and not much else after that.

The jerky is manufactured by Intermountain Natural, a meat processor in Idaho Falls, ID, that specializes in meat snacks using all natural ingredients, or certified organic ingredients. They private label jerky for natural food stores like Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's. Golden Valley Natural is actually a sister company to Intermountain Natural, both being founded by the same guy, Roger Ball.

So, if all of their jerky is largely just a fair amount of sugar, and a bit of soy sauce, then this teriyaki jerky ought to taste exactly like teriyaki, right?


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


The taste I get from the surface of these pieces is a sweetness and a smokiness. Moving into the chew, I can pick up faint traces of soy sauce.

The sweetness seems to provide the dominant taste of this jerky, it's what I continue to taste from start to finish. The trace of soy sauce I taste is something I can only get in the chewing, by sucking out some of the juices. The problem is that the sweetness and the soy sauce is not able to marry together and resemble anything like teriyaki. Even just eating through this like a snack, and not thinking carefully about what I'm eating, I don't get the idea that it's teriyaki.

And like the other varieties from Golden Valley Natural, I taste no amounts of natural meat flavors. I have no clue what kind of meat I'm eating, all I know is that it feels like meat. However, this particular package contained a lot of fatty pieces. That fat seems to give several of these pieces a rather unpleasant taste.

In terms of salt taste, it's very light.

Overall, this jerky tastes nothing like teriyaki and tastes nothing like beef. It just tastes like sugar and smoke.

Meat Consistency

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

It's a soft and tender jerky, being semi-moist. I found it easy to tear apart, and easy to chew. However, it doesn't necessarily chew like a real steak. It has a softened texture, somewhat gummy but not too bad.

I found LOTS of gristle on these pieces. Just about every piece had streaks of gristle. I tried chewing through a streak, and it was rather rubbery. I ended up nibbling the meat off of the gristle, and setting it aside. Most pieces had bits of fat, a few pieces had large chunks of fat. I don't mind small bits of fat, I actually find it giving the jerky a more "beefier" taste. But larger amounts like the one photoed below make it taste rank.

Golden Valley Natural - Teriyaki

Golden Valley Natural - Teriyaki
Product Value

I had acquired this package from, though they no longer sell Golden Valley Natural. 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 general jerky snacking purposes, it's a weak value. It's mainly because of the meat consistency. The copius amounts of gristle felt rubbery in my mouth, or else I found myself nibbling the meat off of it. And the pieces with significant chunks of fat also made the jerky taste foul. All of that ruined its snackability.

As a teriyaki variety, it's a poor value because it tastes nothing like teriyaki at all. If you spent money on this because of its teriyaki advertisement, you won't feel as if you got your money's worth.


I'm giving this a dog treats rating.

It was largely the poor meat consistency. I can't handle jerky with this amount of gristle, and this level of fat. I mean, I do like small pieces of fat in my jerky, but this amount ruined the taste of this jerky.

Normally, I'd say that this might just be an abberation, and that other packages of Golden Valley Natural - Teriyaki, have better meat consistency. But then again, when you see that every larger piece of meat has this gristle running through it, it makes you wonder.

All the other jerky manufactured by Intermountain Natural has received either fair or average ratings from me. This was the first to get a dog treats rating. The flavor alone would have rated as fair because it didn't live up to its teriyaki billing, and is largely a bland taste. The gristle and fat is what ultimately sent the remaining contents of this package to my dogs.

As for my beer recommendation, anything with lots of flavor, like an IPA.

Rating: Dog Treats

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