Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fish Brothers - Smoked Salmon Jerky

Fish Brothers Smoked Salmon JerkyFish Brothers is a brand of Fish Brothers, Inc., based out of Blue Lake, CA. The company has been around since 1984, operating as an FDA approved smoke house for smoked fish. They also offer a smoking service for fishermen, smoking your fish for you, and they do private labeling too.

This salmon jerky is thus far the only product they make that carries the "jerky" description. All of their other products are sold as smoked fish. They also do lox and nova. All of their smoking is done over hickory chips.

The best I can tell, you can't buy this salmon jerky from Fish Brothers' website, you'll have to find a retailer somewhere. I was able to obtain this review sample through House of Jerky.


Salmon, salt, spices, natural smoke


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a smoky flavor that quickly adds that smoked fish flavor. I can taste a strong saltiness right away also. I can also pick up moderate intensity black pepper flavor. In the chewing, I get a stronger saltiness, and a stronger natural meat flavor. The smokiness continues, while the black pepper gets a little stronger.

Overall, this smoked salmon jerky has a high flavor intensity.

I'd consider the saltiness as the primary flavor overall. It's a very strong intensity. If this were beef jerky, I'd call it "too salty", but on the other hand salmon jerky tends to be very salty. In trying to compare this to the other salmon jerky brand I reviewed on this blog, I want to say this is about the same salt intensity on a per-bite basis. But seems more strong over several bites.

The salt intensity increases quite a bit as I continue to eat more and more, and I found that I lost sight of the smoked salmon and black pepper flavors. But by taking a break for about 15 minutes, and then resume eating, it made the salt intensity decrease and I could taste those other flavors again.

As for that second-strongest flavor, it seems to be the smoked salmon flavor. Actually, I was going to evaluate separately the smoky flavor versus natural salmon meat flavor, but it seems the two are equally as strong, so it made sense to just call it a smoked salmon flavor.

The black pepper is also a strong flavor. In fact if this were like some of the beef jerky brands I've had, it would be the primary flavor.

Overall, you're going to taste three strong components, the saltiness, the smoked salmon, and black pepper. All combine to give this jerky a strong flavor intensity. However, the more you eat this, the more saltiness you'll taste, to where you can't taste the smoked salmon and black pepper anymore. To enjoy the flavors at its best, take one bite and then pause for maybe 5 minutes before taking another bite.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be slices of whole meat, sliced into thick strips ranging from 2 to 6 inches, and about 1/2 to 1 inch in width.

This is a semi-moist jerky inside, but feeling quite moist on the outside. It seems to hold up to being labeled "jerky" in in that has a similar chewiness as beef jerky. That is, it doesn't fall apart easily like you'd expect smoked salmon to do. But with some sucking and gentle biting, it eventually does fall apart in my mouth.

Once a bite of this salmon jerky is chewed down to a soft mass, it does feel like fish meat, but more dry than typical smoked salmon, and more chewy. This stuff has a more fibrous quality, similar to a slice of beef cooked well done. And like I said above, with some sucking and gentle biting, the meat falls apart by its grains like you'd expect cooked fish meat to do. But overall, it seems to live up to its billing as jerky.

Bones are often found in smoked salmon, and this smoked salmon jerky is no exception. Some of the pieces actually contained no bones, but I found one piece filled with them, and for the first few bites I was pulling them out of my mouth. But further into that piece, I just chewed them up and swallowed. They seem to be thin enough and pliable to where it won't be a problem; it's more a matter of your tolerance to feeling bones in the chewing texture.

Otherwise the meat appears to be quite lean, which salmon always seems to be anyways. My fingers do pick up a fine layer of oil handling these pieces, and some bits of black pepper pick up as well.

Snack Value

House of Jerky sells this smoked salmon jerky online at a price of $24.00 for 8 ounces. That price includes the shipping. That works out to a total of $3.00 per ounce.

As a salmon jerky, at the $3.00 price per ounce, it seems to present a good value. $3.00 per ounce seems high when compared to beef jerky, but I think that price is actually on par with many other salmon jerky brands. I found a good deal of snackability for its strong flavor intensity, both on the surface and in the chewing, and a good overall flavor. While it's more chewy than typical smoked salmon, it's actually easy to eat as far as jerky goes.


I'm giving this a best rating.

This Smoked Salmon Jerky from Fish Brothers provided a lot of flavor intensity that allowed me to savor each bite instead of just chewing and swallowing right away. I got a good deal of smoky flavor, which backs up its claim of being a smoked salmon jerky.

This being only the second salmon jerky brand I've reviewed here on Best Beef Jerky, there's little to compare this with. But unlike the other brand, this one from Fish Brothers also adds a good deal of black pepper flavor to add more taste interest.

The only negative I could add to this is that the saltiness becomes quite overpowering if eaten quickly. I found myself losing the smoky, salmon, and pepper flavors and had to pause for about 15 minutes before taking another bite just to regain my taste buds. Interestingly, the sodium content on the nutrition facts label shows it has less sodium than the other brand I reviewed on this blog.

But it's hard for me resist the great taste of smoked salmon, and this is no exception.

For my recommended beer pairing, I go with a weisen bock, or hefeweizen.

Rating: Best

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