Some time ago I wrote about the 8 Best Food Trends within the nation, together with the 8 Worst Food Trends. On my small positive list was the jerky renaissance. Dehydrating and seasoning meats for storage and longer life is an early tradition, and like numerous other old food practices, it is experiencing an artisanal rebirth.
Obviously, We have wrongly been predicting that jerky would be the next big thing provided that I could remember, having said that i think I am just finally correct. In the last two decades I actually have had the privilege of tasting several kinds of Asian jerky, coming from a hole within the wall shop in New York’s Chinatown to Tokyo, where there has always been a great range of fresh, delicious jerkies, hardly in this country and not on any sort of scale open to US consumers. That which was so excellent about this Asian jerky was both its soft, not leathery texture, its a lot more pronounced flavor, plus a general sense of freshness, sold not in vacuum packed bags but either packaged to acquire or perhaps in normal plastic bags having a relatively short shelf life. Because I needed tasted it, repeatedly, I knew it was possible to get great jerky that did not taste like processed cardboard, which unfortunately is the thing that dominates the market in this particular country.
For some reason in the U.S. we demand jerky the feel of shoe leather which is pumped loaded with chemicals, with convenience store varieties giving jerky an incredibly bad name. In the past decade I’ve tried almost every jerky I have come across, on road trips throughout the country, from regional brands in convenience stores to homemade versions from roadside stands, national brands to craft jerkies, and they just about all tasted terrible. It can be only previously year that we found a single made-in-the-USA jerky I consider standout, and suddenly I’ve found four of them.
Krave Jerky: Founded by one of the people in the famed Sebastiani wine family in California’s Sonoma, Krave makes its jerkies entirely from natural meats without nitrates or MSG, and produces some odd favors like Pineapple Orange, Chili Lime, Curry and Basil Citrus, alongside more conventional Chipotle and Teriyaki. They already have five flavors of beef, one of pork and 2 of turkey, and while I never thought I’d say this, even the turkey is absolutely good – they are all great (the curry was weirdly addictive). They can be very tender by jerky standards, come with an unrefrigerated shelf life of 9-1 year, can be found in stores within 40 states, and Krave even supplies a jerky of your month club. I used every flavor and all over the board these people were excellent. The greater number of exotic flavors are worth serving guests over a charcuterie platter alongside prosciutto di Parma, salami, and other fine cured meats. Krave does a fantastic job with texture and flavor, though I have got to say, it was actually the least visually appealing great jerky, looking just a little “mushy.”
Jeff’s Famous Jerky: When CampingGearTV.com did an NCAA-style 64 brand taste off, Jeff’s Famous took top honors. Needless to say, it might be hard to even find 64 brands of jerky, hence the taste test itself was an outstanding feat. Jeff personally sent me samples along with a handwritten note claiming to become the best online seller of jerky, a job greatly enhanced by selling with the website of Sam’s Club. His jerky is also made without MSG or nitrates, can be purchased in 23 states, and he too delivers a jerky club. He concentrates on beef while offering eight flavors: Sweet Teriyaki, Old-fashioned Original, Black Pepper and Sea Salt, Jalapeno Carne Asada, Cajun Style, Orange-A-Peel, Cranberry Jalapeno, and Habanero Heatwave. It absolutely was the Black Pepper and Sea Salt that won the best spot within the big taste-off. I liked Jeff’s hands-on owner’s pride and found his jerkies very flavorful, as well as the taste really comes through, plus it looks good, but it really had not been as tender as my other favorites. Nonetheless, it is actually not even close to tough plus a standout jerky being tried. Exactly what makes it so great? As Jeff’s explains on his website, “Much from the beef jerky which is produced available for sale consists of highly-processed, chopped and formed meat, as opposed to using sliced, whole muscle meat like perform. These artificially produced products normally have higher fat and water content and are tough to chew. If you read the fine print, you will recognize that as an alternative to using strictly American beef many of the largest beef jerky companies companies frequently use foreign beef.” Go Jeff!
Climax Jerky: This was the main one randomly selected jerky I’ve found out that is great. All of those other jerkies listed here contacted me and sent samples to demonstrate their wares, however i just discovered Climax Jerky while walking throughout the Denver airport. I’ve spent time and effort in the Denver airport and not noticed this cart before and so i assume it can be somewhat new, positioned near similar carts hawking sunglasses and chocolates. I bought a couple of bags and picked up the brochure. It is actually awesome. Climax relies in Dillon, CO, and contains an enormous menu of flavors, specializing in multiple strategies to enjoy elk, buffalo and beef, in addition they have venison, turkey, and salmon. Most feature all-natural ingredients, and they indicate flavors which do not, such as teriyaki beef. Further, they are their jerkies several ways, offering buffalo that is both dry roasted (oven roasted at low temperatures for long times) and hickory smoked. Likewise beef merchandise is either dehydrated or smoked. Their utmost-seller may be the Kik Butt, dry dexqpky90 buffalo jerky flavored with tomatoes, spicy chilies and red hots. I tried the basic principles, hickory smoked buffalo and hickory smoked beef, and both were excellent: the flavor had not been quite as deep as with Jeff’s or Krave, however the texture and visual appeal were both perfect tens – Climax won my informal game jerky taste test. Climax Jerky has two Denver airport locations, and a few other Colorado outlets, sells at numerous farmer’s markets and also operates a street front cart in Breckenridge ,Colorado, among my very favorite ski towns, and will make a perfect après ski snack! I’ve written about Breckenridge here for Forbes, before.
Gary West Artisan Smoked Meats: Likely the well known player in the high-end jerky game, Gary West was described by the Today Show as being the “Rolls Royce of Jerky.” They make a huge array of jerkies and other smoked meats like hams, and their jerky products include several different lines, like Silver Fork Natural, from elk, buffalo and beef without having added nitrates, hormones, steroids or antibiotics. But the one I attempted is the unique Certified Angus Beef strips, the same ones that wowed the Today Show staff. These are soft, tasty jerky strips that happen to be very “beefy,” much more about eating meat than added flavors, though visually they search by far the most processed of any of these jerkies – but they taste great.