Monday, September 29, 2014

Bayou Blend - File Gumbo

Bayou Blend Meat Snacks is a brand of beef jerky based out of Napoleonville, LA. The company was started by Milton Hock in January 2013.

Hock had been making jerky for some 20 years before launching Bayou Blend. He started the business after seeing an opportunity to offer meat snacks with more unique cajun-style flavor than competing brands.

This File Gumbo is described on the package as, "Creole Blend Beef Jerky".


Beef, water, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, flavorings, crab boil powder, spices, liquid smoke, crab boil liquid, hot sauce.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a salty seasoning flavor comprising of a multitude of spices and quite complex. There's a wee bit of sweet noticeable.

The chewing brings in the same but in more definition, very rich in spice blend. I'm tasting oregano, thyme, cumin, garlic, onion, basil, and perhaps others. There's also that faint bit of citrus I found in the company's Melange Original. I can also pick up a moderate level of heat.

For being marketed as "File Gumbo", specifically as "creole", it seems to hold up. It definitely has a flavor that I would associate with "creole" and "gumbo" and more specifically Louisiana-style cooking. It's quite complex in spice flavors but it also warms up the blood a little, indicative of chile peppers.

It doesn't really come across as being hot, however. In fact, it seems one level more mild than the company's Melange Original. I'd rate this as "Mild Medium" (level 2 out of 5).

Otherwise, that flavors that seem to define this jerky starts primarily with the complex seasoning blend. It packs a punch of spice flavors along with the hot sauce and touches of heat that it could only be described as "creole". The saucy blend of worcestershire, soy sauce, and teriyaki presents itself as a nice saucy base. There's also that subtle bit of citrus, a little bit of a tangy chew, and light touches of sweet to round out the flavors.

The ingredients combine together well to create an addicting flavor that livens up the senses, gets the heart pumping, makes you reach for more.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced thin, and in small bite sized pieces, as well as a good deal of small bits.

This is a dry jerky with a lightly oily surface feel. They have a pliable, soft plastic-like flexibility. Chewing seems to be chewy, but not tough, still somewhat easy.

The chewing texture starts out feeling like soft, pliable plastic with a fair amount of chewing resistance. A few chews into it, and it just starts to break down, and takes on a more meaty resemblance. Once it chews down to a soft mass, it feel much more like a piece of steak cooked well-done.

I don't find any bits or streaks of fat on this jerky, not did I find any gristle or tendon. Because these pieces are cut into small and very small pieces, I don't really pick up any stringiness and found no unchewable wads of tissue.

In terms of clean eating, it's mostly clean with a light bit sticky-oily residue on my fingertips, not enough to require a licking and wiping before touching the keyboard.

Snack Value

Bayou Blend sells this File Gumbo beef jerky from its website at a price of $3.99 per 1.75oz package.  If you buy 10 packages, the total comes to $43.49, with sales tax added.  That works out to $2.49 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.49 per ounce price, it's a good value.  I'm getting a lot of really good flavor, with a characteristic bayou/cajun seasoning, good meat consistency and chewing.  Compared to other jerky brands found in stores, it's priced a higher, but well worth the cost.


I'm giving this a best rating.

This File Gumbo beef jerky from Bayou Blend has a very bold, complex seasoning flavor much like with the company's Melange Original and Luziana Bonfire. It's not quite as hot as those two, but offers up the same rich, bold, eye-opening seasoning blend indicative of Louisiana-style cuisine.

The meat consistency seemed great despite having a bunch of tiny bits that make it cumbersome gathering up enough to produce a decent amount of chew. It's not tough to chew, but moderately easy and feels like real steak once its chewed down soft.

I wasn't able to get much of the natural meat flavors in this, but it's easily made-up for with the richness of the seasonings.

Rating: Best


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