Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Western's Snack Sticks - Healthier For You Sticks

westerns snack sticks
Western's Smokehouse has been in business since 1978, when it was founded by Sam Western, a man who built a career as a butcher. Originally starting as a local meat market, Western's Smokehouse struck it rich when it introduced it's first meat stick, "Western's Hot Dogs".

Renaming them to "Snack Sticks", the company expanded to meet demand by building a larger facility. Production of snack sticks remains as the company's primary focus today.

These "Healthier For You" line of Snack Sticks are made with no antibiotics, no hormones, and no preservatives. They are also gluten-free, soy-free, and MSG-free. The beef stick in particular is made from grass-fed beef.

Original Grass Fed Beef

Ingredients: Grass fed beef, water, sea salt, brown sugar, encapsulated citric acid, celery juice powder, red pepper, black pepper, liquid smoke, granulated garlic, coriander, onion powder, in colored beef collagen casing

Meaty is the first word that hits me when take a bite off of this stick. There's a tangy flavor that comes on right away, along with a bit of salt and touch of spiciness. It has the chewing texture of a salami chunk except just a bit more soft. There's a natural meat flavor enters later into the chewing. The casing has a softer snap in each bite.

Sriracha Turkey

Ingredients: Turkey, water, rice flour, sea salt, evaporated caned syrup, encapsulated citric acid, spices, celery juice powder, red pepper, dehydrated garlic & onion, liquid smoke, natural spice extractives, in colored beef collagen casings

The turkey meat flavor comes on right away and it has a white-meat flavor. The Sriracha manifests itself in the garlic and a moderate level of heat. It's not hot, but more like "mild medium" on our heat scale (level 2 out of 5). It has a drier chewing texture (than compared to the beef above), falling into the semi-moist category. It's lightly salty.

Barbeque Flavor & Pineapple Pork

Ingredients: Pork, dried pineapple, brown sugar, water, sea salt, sweetener, encapsulated citric acid, celery juice powder, ground mustard, granulated garlic, liquid smoke, coriander, onion powder, black pepper, in colored beef collagen casings

It's noticeably sweet right away and imparts an easily identifiable pineapple flavor. The pork flavor is light, but has a fresh, white meat flavor like a fried pork chop. There's a hint of black pepper to keep this mildly spicy. The casing has a bit more snap to the bite than compared to the beef and turkey above, yet it's also more tender and juicy.

Buffalo Wing Flavor Chicken

Ingredients: Chicken, water, rice flour, sea salt, evaporated cane juice, sweetener, encapsulated citric acid, red pepper, celery juice powder, ground mustard, granulated garlic, liquid smoke, coriander, black pepper, in colored beef collagen casings

Right away, the chicken meat flavor comes into view, resembling more like breast meat. It's also drier than the turkey stick. In fact, the stick itself it tougher than any of three sticks reviewed above. The Buffalo Wing flavor is kinda difficult to identify in this. It tends to taste more like a blend of black pepper and red pepper. The casing does not really have a snap to the bite, it tends to be more chewy.

Verdict

This Healthier-For-You line of snack sticks from Western's definitely does invoke a sense of eating something more fresh and natural than compared to the company's flagship line of sticks. They have more natural meat flavor, and tend to taste more clean. Both the chicken and turkey tend to be more dry than the beef and pork, but yet deliver the most meat natural meat flavors, and tends to taste more natural. The pork stick is my favorite of the four flavors for its sweet, pineapple flavor, along with its more moist, yet crisper snap to the bite. On the other hand, the beef is still the more meatier, more satisfying for the carnivore snacker due to its balance between natural meat flavors, light seasonings, and meaty chewing. Overall, these sticks do in fact feel more healthful and natural, yet still offer the same meaty satisfaction stick-snackers look for.

Rating: Good (4/5)


westerns snacks sticks

westerns snacks sticks



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