Sunday, January 18, 2009

DC China Meat Products - Fruit Flavored

DC China Meat Products - Fruit FlavoredDC China Meat Products, based in Montclair, CA, is a company that produces meat snacks for Chinese-Americans. They make their stuff out of their own facility.

The concept of "fruit flavored" jerky sounds a bit strange, but it's quite popular in China. Chinese-style jerky, which is usually marketed as "dried beef", often comes in a fruity flavoring, usually strawberry jam. American snackers are don't often think of jerky being fruit flavored, but then again we're tempted these days by lemon-pepper jerky, or chili-lime.

This package doesn't mention strawberry flavoring however, and in fact the ingredients list doens't mention strawberry. It only says "fruit punch".


Beef, fruit punch concentrate, sugar, soy sauce, wine, salt, monosodium glutamate, spices, sodium nitrite.


The tastes I pick up from the surface of these pieces is mostly this strong "chinese flavor", which is hard to describe. I think it's the style of soy sauce they use, which is the chinese style. If you can imagine taking this soy sauce, and maybe mixing it with peanut oil, that's kinda the taste I'm getting, and it's strong flavor. I also get a moderate sweetness.

In the chewing, I don't really pick up much, except some slight salty flavor, and maybe smidgeon of natural meat flavors.

Ok, so how much fruit flavor do I get out of this? None. I can't taste anything fruity in this. What I get is mostly sugary sweet. If I were to suck on piece, and extract out the juices, what I taste is something more along the lines of sweetened milk, similar to the milk leftover in a bowl of Fruit Loops cereal.

Interestingly, this jerky has a peculiar smell to it, also similar to that leftover milk. It's also reminiscent of a sweet smelling cigar.

As for the natural meat flavors, well they're very slight. So slight, you'd probably wouldn't notice it if you're just snacking away. The saltiness is also slight on an individual piece basis, but does seem to build up a little over several pieces.

Overall, the dominant flavor of this jerky is that "chinese flavor" I described at the top, with the second-most dominant flavor being the sweet, and the third-most dominant taste being that sweetened milk flavor.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be slices of whole meat, sliced thin, and in small pieces. These pieces are also covered in tiny, loose, meat fibers, giving it a furry complexion.

This jerky is quite moist, but I think most of that moisture is trapped in those tiny meat fibers. The slices of meat seem more dry inside. It's very easy to tear part, and easy to chew.

The chewing texture has a very meat-like character. I think the tiny covering of meat fibers really adds to that character, and almost makes it feel like I'm chewing a real steak. However, those fibers also give it a mushy feeling as I chew longer. The actual slices of meat are a bit on the crunchy side, and if not for the furry covering, I think it would feel more mealy.

Despite the amount of moisture trapped in the meat fibers, my fingers don't really pick up much residue. And I don't really see any meat fragments falling to my lap. There's enough moisture on the surface to prevent the fibers from falling off.

I didn't find any bits of fat on these pieces, but then again it's hard to find due to the furry covering. But I didn't find anything chewy in the way of connective tissue.

Snack Value

I paid $1.69 for this 1.5oz package at a 99 Ranch Market in Irvine, CA. That works out to a price of $1.13 per ouncem putting this into the average price range, but at the lower end.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at this lower price, it has a decent value. I did get some snackability, but just a little. I think it's definitely something a chinese-food fanatic, or a chinese person himself, would appreciate. And at this price, it would be a good value. But for the typical American meat snacker, I think it's more of a novelty value.

As for being a fruit-flavored beef jerky, at this low price, it's a poor value. I just didn't taste the fruit flavor in this. I think the fruit punch ingredient is more for the sweet taste and red coloration. In fact, I couldn't even identify the fruit punch. It's just a good deal of sweet flavor.


I'm giving this a fair rating.

While it has some snackability, I just didn't get enough to maintain an interest in this jerky. Considering this package was only 1.5 ounces, I had probably eaten about 1 ounce until I started feeling as if I had had enough. I couldn't imagine going through a 3 or 4 ounce package.

That "chinese flavor" I mentioned is actually good. It first strikes me as unexpected in a beef jerky, but eventually grew on me and is largely what fueled the snackability. But it was the strange sweetness, that resembled that of milk leftover in a bowl of Fruit Loops cereal, that eventually drove me away.

It's also the fact that I didn't get any fruit flavor that shot down much of my curiosity with this product.

But perhaps me giving this a fair rating is misleading. I'm sure DC China Meat Products knows what it's doing when marketing snack foods to Chinese-Americans. It's just a person like me, who's grown up with an Americanized palate, who finds this off the mark.

I think a good beer with this is a hefeweizen (wheat beer).

Rating: Fair

Where to buy:


  1. I'm glad you wrote this because I've been trying to find this brand of jerky after waxing nostalgic about the foods and snacks of my youth. Very helpful, well-written review. Although, I do wish you could describe "Chinese flavor" better haha. Don't know how I feel about that.

  2. It's hard to describe "chinese flavor" Alina, but I found this same flavor duplicated across several different brands of chinese meat snacks. I never taste this in American beef jerky.

  3. After reading the very thorough analysis I realized that the better example of this company's jerky is the Hot Fruit variety, not the one you tried. I too was less than thrilled with the fruit flavored but, the Hot Fruit variety is wonderful! The quality of the product is always first rate and the flavor is unique and satisfying. Whenever I get to California I buy up a quantity to bring back home with me. I haven't seen it in Tucson yet. Ken

  4. I really, REALLY love this type of jerky. I'm a little disappointed that you gave only a fair rating for it.

  5. It made me smile to see a familiar package long forgotten from my childhood. Additionally, I'm glad a previous commenter recommended their "Hot Fruit" jerky as I'm about to do the same.

    I ate the Hot Fruit Jerky of this brand (almost religiously) in my youth, nearly every time I went grocery shopping with my mother; thanks to your review, I picked up another couple bags of those for nostalgic reasons and I'm very happy that I did! It has a sweet, yet spicy dominant combination that is perfectly seasoned for my taste buds. Meat texture and consistency should be the same as your review if you were curious. Highly recommended from one jerky enthusiast to another.

    I recently ate a bag on the drive home from 99 Ranch Market, after eating a sweet & sour soup from their kitchen (which I also recommend if you are feeling adventurous)

    Best of luck in your experiences!