Friday, December 5, 2008

World Kitchens - Hot & Spicy, 3.5oz

World Kitchens - Hot & SpicyWorld Kitchens is one of those bargain brands of jerky that shows up in some grocery stores and convenience stores. They seem to be known mainly for their large 1 pound bags. I had actually reviewed their 1 pound bag of teriyaki jerky, which I gave a "dog treats" rating.

Last month, I found some smaller 3.5 ounce bags of World Kitchens at a QFC store in Seattle, WA, and noticed the meat consistency looked a lot different than the 1 pound bags. So I picked up a bag of the teriyaki and this hot & spicy. A couple of weeks ago, I gave the teriyaki variety a "fair" rating, an improvement over their 1 pound bag, on the basis that the flavor was better because of the different meat consistency.

Now, I wanted to continue with my review of their 3.5 ounce bags with this hot & spicy variety. I have to warn you that I am partial to hot & spicy jerky, so there's a good chance that this jerky might actually get a better rating.


Sliced beef, brown sugar, water, salt, red pepper, black pepper, papaya juice, garlic powder, monosodium glutamate, oregano, citric acid, sodium nitrite.


The flavors I pick up off the surface of these pieces starts off with fair amount of sweetness, and a good deal of red pepper taste. A spicy tingle is already building up in my mouth. I can even pick up some faint saltiness. Moving into the chewing, more of the salt leaches out, along with some black pepper taste.

I can tell you now that I'm liking this stuff better than the brand's teriyaki variety.

I get a clear, perhaps strong, red pepper taste. That is, not just the spicy bite of the red pepper, but the flavor of the red pepper. I'd rate the hotness as a mild-medium on a single piece basis, and building up to a medium over several pieces. Those of you with lesser-tolerable tongues might see this as medium to medium-hot.

The sweetness on the surface is enough that World Kitchens could legitimately market this as a sweet & spicy variety. But it's not overly sweet. It still seems to take a backseat to the red pepper. But combined with the red pepper taste, the sweetness creates an pleasing flavor for me.

The black pepper is also noticeable in this, mostly during the chewing. However, eventually the red pepper burn takes over and seems to mask the black pepper.

As for natural meat flavors, I don't taste any at all.

The level of saltiness doesn't taste all that high to me. I'd put it around moderate.

I don't really notice much garlic in this, but it seems like I can detect some traces of it in the background.

I find the red pepper making up the dominant taste of this jerky, followed by the sweetness, followed by the salt.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be slices of whole meat, sliced into average thickness, in small to medium sized pieces. I'll note that there's probably a full ounce of smaller crumbled pieces in the bottom of the bag.

It's a dry jerky overall. The lone exeception was one medium sized piece that seemed out of place, being more moist, but having a different color, a different taste, and with no pieces of red pepper stuck to it.

The pieces break apart pretty easily by bending them with the grain. They chew and eat fairly easily as well. The chewing experience starts off with a crumbly nature, breaking up into chunks with little of the fibrous nature you expect with a steak. Once you get it hydrated enough, it takes on just some of the steak-like characteristics, but also a bit of a mushy nature too.

It's fairly clean eating, leaving no residue on my fingers, no fragments on my lap. But I did note that there are a lot of crumbled pieces in the bottom of the bag. I also found these pieces mostly lean, with no tendon, gristle, or connective tissue.

Snack Value

I paid $5.49 for this 3.5 ounce package at a QFC store in Seattle, WA. That works out to a price of $1.57 per ounce, putting this in the average price range.

For general jerky snacking purposes, it provides a good value. I really like the flavor of this hot & spicy variety, and I also found a great deal of flavor intensity. The chewing texture is subpar, but just as something to snack on, it provides a great deal of snackability for me.

As a hot & spicy variety, it's also a good value. If you can find this at a lower price, it only becomes a great value. Not only do I get a decent amount of hotness, but I also get a good deal of red pepper flavor.


I'm giving this jerky an average rating.

Even though I really like the flavor of this jerky, and appreciate the flavor intensity, and it seems to back up its "hot & spicy" advertisement, I'm still missing the natural meat flavors, and I'm still not thrilled about the chewing texture. But overall, it provides a great snackability with its delicious taste and easy to eat consistency.

It's that stronger red pepper taste, with its medium level hotness, and the moderate level sweetness that really did it in for me with the flavor. The addition of the black pepper taste, at least in the first couple of pieces, also adds some complexity to the taste. It would have been better to get some good meat flavor, but then again, for just general jerky snacking, it's good enough.

A good companion beer might be a honey blonde ale.

Rating: Average

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1 comment:

  1. I have access to natural grass-fed beef that has a much fuller flavor than typical supermarket meat. Should I alter the way I make jerky to accommodate this fact?