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ASTIG: (pronounced ă-steeg) is a Tagalog slang term that means cool, badass or kickass.
Astig Ka Ba? (Are you Astig?)
As a first in Jerky Ingredients, we have a review on jerky submitted for review. Special thanks go out to Michael J. Robin at Astig Premium Jerky. This review will focus on a 3 ounce/84 gram beef jerky bag of the Filipino based flavor Tocino.
Michael has two main goals. One is to inform the non-Filipino community what the Filipino slang word Astig means (cool, badass or kickass). Second is to familiarize the Filipino community more with jerky, where Southern California has a large Filipino population. Astig Premium Jerky is distributed by Astig Unlimited, LLC, which is located in Thousand Oaks, California.
Astig Premium Jerky is processed and produced in a USDA approved manufacturing facility in California. Their meat is 100% derived from locally raised grain-fed cattle, and contains no artificial enhancements. The meat is cut fresh, marinated in traditional Philippine ingredients, and processed in small batches to ensure freshness.
The liquid marinade is comprised of pineapple juice, hot & spicy banana sauce, lemon lime soda, and soy sauce. Pineapples contain an enzyme named bromelain, which acts as a natural meat tenderizer. While not required by FDA regulations, a jerky maker is not compelled to break down every ingredient, as is the case here with the lemon lime soda and hot & spicy banana sauce. Michael graciously did provide the ingredient lists.
For those interested, here are the ingredient lists: Hot & Spicy Banana Sauce (Banana, Water, Sugar, Vinegar, Iodized Salt, Modified Corn Starch, Onion, Spices, Garlic, 0.08% Sodium Benzoate, FD&C Yellow #6 (E110), FD&C Red #40 (E110)) and Lemon Lime Soda (Carbonated Water, Sugar, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Potassium Citrite).
The sugar level is fairlyhigh at 7 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. A tocino based flavor is sweet by nature, where 5 grams of sugar or under is preferred. The salt level is respectable at 280mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky.
This jerky does qualify to have no sodium nitrite added, or any other similar unhealthy preservatives. Instead, salt is the main preservative used here. Admirably, this jerky does qualify to have no MSG added.
The jerky strips are medium, to small in size. The thickness is medium, to near thin. These jerky strips have a fairly soft and tender texture, but just dry enough, which makes the jerky easy to chew, for the most part. There are tiny amounts of fat in this jerky, which adds a bit more of the natural beef flavor. Handling this jerky leaves no oily residue on your fingers.
The first taste that we picked up on is the sugar, which is not overpowering, where the Tocino flavor is supposed to be sweet tasting. At first it is a mild tasting flavor, which gets tastier with the more you eat, but not sweeter, thankfully. The combination of pineapple juice and lemon lime soda is interesting, which seems to give it a slightly tangy, tropical flavor.
While the bag does have a picture of a red hot pepper, stating “Mild”, the spiciness is more at a light level. Being somewhat familiar with the Filipino Tocino flavor, this flavor does not quite capture the Tocino flavor that we were expecting. Albeit, it’s an interesting unique flavor for sure.
This 3 ounce/84 gram bag of jerky sells for $5.99, which works out to $2.00 an ounce. That would rate as an average price. Considering this is a fine homemade type of jerky, this is good value for your money.
We have a standard sized plastic bag here, all black in color. There is a decent sized label on the front, and nothing on the back. The bag was easy to open, which is certainly not always the case with jerky bags.
The Astig Premium Jerky logo is clever, containing a picture of the sun, which is the same yellow sun used on the Philippines flag, and three stars. Normally these stars are colored yellow, changed to red, white and blue for the USA flag, to represent joining the USA with the Philippines, very ingenious.
On the bag there is a blurb “The First Original Beef Jerky Made With Traditional Filipino Flavors”, which could very well be true. Not printed on the bag are their trademark slogans “Awesomeat!” and “Rethink Your Jerky!”. They warrant mention on the bag.
All the important bag categories are covered here. Something you do not see often printed on bags is a QR code, along with a Facebook logo.
Order their jerky online: www.astigjerky.com