Monday, June 8, 2009

Island Preserve Marlin Jerky - Pepper Teriyaki

Island Preserve Marlin Jerky Island Preserve is a brand name of AIR, Inc., based out of Pearl City, HI. AIR, Inc. is best known as "Made in Hawaii Foods", a retailer of food products made in Hawaii.

The company has been around since 1992, but it wasn't until 1995 that they developed the "Island Preserve" brand name and started making their own line of products. They seem to be well known for their cream cheese, jams, jellies, and flavored vinegar. In 2004 they opened up a factory outlet store in Pearl City.

This marlin jerky is one of their products as well. In addition to this Pepper Teriyaki, they also have plain Teriyaki, as well as Chili Pepper, and Smoked Style. I'll be reviewing the Chili Pepper later.


Marlin, sugar, soy sauce, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, red chili, sesame seed oil, spices.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a strong sweetness, followed quickly by a black pepper flavor, and a smoky, fish flavor. I can also pick up the garlic after several seconds, and I can feel faint spicy tingle in the back of my mouth. Overall, this has a lot of flavor intensity on the surface.

In the chewing, the first thing I taste is more of the same, with perhaps a burst of sweet and more black pepper, a tad more fish flavor, and something of tanginess too.

For being billed as a Pepper Teriyaki variety, it definitely has a good deal of black pepper flavor, enough to where I think use of the word "pepper" is justified. I also think use of the word "teriyaki" is also justified, though I'm having trouble identifying this as true teriyaki. It certainly has the thick sweetness that teriyaki is known for, and I can detect the soy sauce flavor back there, though it's rather weak. I can pick up a tangy flavor too, I'm just missing that pungent bite normally provided by ginger.

As for being marlin jerky, this does have a good deal of fish meat flavor. I'm not an expert on good tasting marlin, but this does seem to have a flavor resembling something similar to swordfish, which I have had plenty of. There's a light fishy flavor also.

The garlic is noticeable in this, giving me a light aftertaste.

The saltiness in this seems light to moderate.

The faint spicy tingle I mentioned at the beginning seems to create a very weak burn, but still only registering as "mild" on my hot scale.

Overall, what you're going to taste in this jerky is a strong sweetness, a medium-to-strong black pepper flavor, and a smoky marlin meat flavor. You'll notice some tangy flavors and a light garlic.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be slices of whole meat, sliced thin, and in bite sized pieces.

It seems to be a dry jerky, but it has a lot of flexibility. I can bend it completely around and it never cracks. Tearing a piece with my fingers is easy, and chewing is largely easy as well.

The chewing texture starts out with a soft rubbery feel. Some light biting causes the meat fibers to break, and I can hear crunchy noises. It never feels like real fish meat, however. Most pieces just feel gummy, perhaps due to the thick layer of sweetness on the surface. A few pieces provided a fibrous feel, much like you'd expect dried fish to be, though the gummy-like quality was still dominant. Overall, this jerky is like eating a fish-flavored fruit rollup.

I didn't find any pieces of fat, skin, or bones in this jerky, it appears to be all meat.

Despite the thick coating of sweet on the surface, my finger don't really pick up any residue. Because these all bite sized pieces, no tearing is required, and hence fragments don't fly off.

Snack Value

Made in Hawaii Foods sells this Peppered Teriyaki marlin jerky from its website at a price of $3.75 for a 2.25oz package. I bought two packages, each a different variety. Add to that shipping costs of $4.80, and it came out to a total of $12.30. That works out to a per ounce price of $2.73.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.73 price per ounce, it offers a decent value. I'm getting a lot of snackability for its good flavor, and its easy to eat consistency. The gummy chewing texture is rather odd for slices of dried fish, however. But while the $2.73 price per ounce is high compared to jerky in general, I think it still offers a lot of snack value.

As a Peppered Teriyaki Marlin jerky, at the same $2.73 price per ounce, I think it's a good value. It seems to offer a lot of peppery flavor, plus a good deal of average quality teriyaki. But it also provides a good deal of natural marlin meat flavor. Considering marlin steaks are going to be more expensive than beef, the $2.73 price per ounce is not really that high.


I'm giving this a good rating.

This Peppered Teriyaki marlin jerky from Island Preserve offers a lot of flavor intensity, with a decent level of flavor complexity. I'm tasting a lot of components, the sweet, the soy sauce, a saltiness, black pepper, garlic, and a smoky marlin meat flavor.

I get a clear taste of black pepper, with a teriyaki sauce marked by a strong sweetness, a well noticed tanginess, and a light soy sauce. Better yet, this jerky offers a good deal of natural marlin meat flavor, with a smoky touch. You're getting exactly what this jerky advertises itself to be, and at a good value.

I think the only thing that kept me from assigning a higher rating is the gummy chewing texture. I didn't get the sense that I was eating meat, let alone fish. For all I knew it could have been some new astronaut food, or fish-flavored gummy sheets.

My recommended beer pairing for this, go with a red ale.

Rating: Good

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