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Note: For a more current taste review on a tweaked bag design, open up McLean Clean & Lean – Teriyaki Turkey Jerky (Recipe #2).
McLean Clean & Lean jerky is distributed by McLean Meats Inc. based out of West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The company was founded by Garth McLean in 2003. By 2004, Garth partnered with Michelle Neilson to develop nitrite-free deli meat, and several other meat products. Today, McLean Meats has done a great job of penetrating the Canadian market. For a list of stores of where to buy their products, including jerky, check out their Where to Buy in Canada page. This jerky is manufactured by a private labeler named Made-Rite located in Langley, British Columbia, Canada.
The turkey used are guaranteed to be ethically raised, meaning no additional antibiotics or growth hormones are given. Without being organic certified, a maximum Very Good (9/10) ingredient rating can be awarded.
The sugar level is a tad high at around 5.6 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky, for a sweet based flavor such as teriyaki. Our preference is 5 grams of sugar or under. The salt level is also somewhat high at around 392mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky. However, that is negated because minimally processed sea salt is used, which is high on minerals and trace minerals.
The preservatives used here are interesting with sea salt, ascorbic acid, and green tea extract. Ascorbic acid is a form of Vitamin C. Green tea has a very long history in medicine providing many health benefits. This jerky does qualify to have no sodium nitrite. Admirably, this jerky also qualifies to have no MSG added.
These pieces of jerky are small in size, and sliced thick. The texture is surprisingly soft and tender, where it does not come much easier to chew than this. There are no signs of fat, and handling this jerky does leave some oily residue on your fingers.
The first tastes detected are mild levels of sweetness and salt. At light levels are black pepper and garlic. There are more light levels of other spices that all blend well together, which may well include paprika. Easily the most dominant taste is the natural turkey flavor.
As for a teriyaki flavor, there is not much there. It more resembles an original flavor, where there is very little that resembles an Asian based flavor. Nevertheless, this is a pleasant tasting flavor overall, especially if you enjoy the taste of turkey.
This 1.7 ounce/50 gram bag was purchased for $4.99, which works out to $2.94 an ounce. That translates to an expensive price. This jerky is recommended from a health perspective, and also from a taste perspective for people who enjoy a mild teriyaki taste, and the taste of turkey with a soft and tender texture.
This non-resealable bag has everything imprinted on both the back and front, with no labels attached. The McLean Clean & Lean logo is a farm on top of a scenic picture showing the surrounding land. To illustrate that further, a fairly high resolution picture of a farm is depicted on the front.
Some slogans printed on this bag are “Clean & Lean Foods”, “Embrace Food With Gratitude”, and “Eat Healthy – Be Kind to Animals”. Some facts printed are “Turkey Raised Without the Use of Antibiotics”, “No Nitrites Added”, “Soy Free”, “Gluten Free”, “No Celery Extract”, “Low Fat Protein Snack”, “No Gluten, Dairy, Soy”, and “No Preservatives”.
The bag listed at the bottom was purchased in 2015. Their bag design has since changed, but the ingredient list is just about identical.
Check out their web site: www.mcleanmeats.com