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The Matador jerky brand name is distributed by the very large, family owned, and a true American success story Link Snacks Inc. While the Jack Links jerky brand name is easily the world leader in jerky sales, this Matador jerky brand is targeted towards teenagers, with bolder flavors. Link Snacks Inc. is located in Minong, Wisconsin, and interestingly their address is 1 Snack Food Lane. Link Snacks Inc. was started way back in the 1880’s. Today, Jack Link’s sells more than 100 different meat snack products in more than 40 countries.
The next review for Matador will be on a 3 ounce/85 gram bag of their peppered sliced and shaped flavored beef pork jerky. This flavor is advertised as being for all of the peppered-jerky fanatics. The bag was purchased at a gas bar convenience store in Lewiston, New York.
Ingredients: Beef and Pork, Sugar, Salt, Contains 2% or less of Flavorings, Pork Stock, Beef Stock, Black Pepper, Water, Soy Sauce (Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Monosodium Glutamate, Maltodextrin, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite. Allergen Warnings: Soy, Wheat
Where the beef and pork is sourced from is unknown. The beef and pork used is not guaranteed to be free of growth hormones or additional antibiotics. Also, the beef and pork are not guaranteed to have at least partial free range access to roam about. As a result, the highest ingredient rating that can be awarded is a Good (8/10) rating.
The texture of this jerky is chopped and formed, or as stated on the bag Sliced & Shaped, mixing the beef and pork together. As a result, without having a natural whole muscle sliced strip of jerky, two ingredient ratings are deducted.
The sugar level is high at 7 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky to lose two ratings. Our preference is 3 grams of sugar or less. The salt level is very high at 680mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky to lose two ratings. Our preference is 350mg of salt or less.
Unhealthy sodium nitrite and sodium erythorbate are used in preserving this jerky to lose a rating. Salt is the main preservative used. Unfortunately, this jerky does use the questionable flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG) to lose another rating.
Written by guest jerky reviewer Stéphane Leclerc
This Matador – Peppered Sliced & Shaped Beef Pork Jerky is surprisingly good. It hits all the right notes with its black pepper and a very enjoyable little spicy kick. This need not come as a big surprise, as this jerky is loaded with flavor enhancers but nonetheless, it is very tasty and it is somewhat reminiscent of a Teriyaki flavor.
This jerky is generously accentuated with some sweetness and saltiness. The black pepper does an admirable job and it will not disappoint most black pepper fans. The flavor is followed by a nice and noticeable little spicy kick and it does not exceed perhaps a 1/5 on the heat scale.
The Matador brand is made by Jack Link’s (Link Snacks, Inc.) and it is targeted towards teenagers and people who may be more favorable to bolder flavors. Matador has since revamped their ingredient list, it is now advertised as a “New Recipe” and this is a taste review on their former recipe.
These small jerky pieces are shaped into squares and sliced to a medium thickness. They are soft and chewy and they leave no oily residue on the fingers. Jack Links advertises this flavor with a “Tenderness Warning” or “Extreme Tenderness”. Again, this should not come as another big surprise since it is “Chopped and Formed” jerky and therefore, it is the nature of the beast. It may arguably be called “Soft and Tender” but it is still far from being “Extremely Tender”. The pieces are relatively easy to chew but I doubt teeth would be optional in order to chew this product. As previously mentioned, this is a “Chopped and Formed” jerky and it obviously does not possess any natural tear. The beef and pork meat are indistinguishable with simply a kind of processed slight meat flavor.
This flavor is generally enjoyable despite its “Chopped and Formed” processed meat taste. The first or so bite may be on the sweet side to some and after chewing a few pieces; the sweetness subsides and becomes less noticeable. The black pepper and slight spicy kick certainly does help in this matter.
Paul was a little more favorable than Mark or myself and he stated: “We here at JerkyIngredients.com are not proponents of chopped and formed jerky but I can say personally that I am enjoying this flavor DESPITE it being chopped and formed.”
Am I selling out? …absolutely not, I must maintain my integrity and be honest and I am honestly enjoying this flavor!
At last and with everything aside, this is a very tasty jerky and we did not need to have our arms twisted to eat this jerky. We’d probably recommend this flavor to fans of “Chopped and Formed” with an appreciation for bolder levels of black pepper, sweetness and saltiness.
We’ve rated this Matador – Peppered Sliced & Shaped Beef Pork Jerky an 8/10 taste rating.
This resealable plastic bag has everything imprinted directly on to the bag, both on the front and back. The Matador logo is a black bull.
The Matador slogan is “The Tender Jerky”. Some facts printed on this bag are “Sliced & Shaped Premium Cuts Of Beef & Pork”, “11g Protein”, “1g Fat”, “90 Calories”, and “Made By Jack Link’s”.
A Save $1 sticker is attached, which has the official Matador slogan “Charge Forward”.
All bag categories are covered with this bag. A blurb is printed on the back about a Tenderness Warning, where that claim is dubious. Admirably, a phone number is supplied for customer inquiries. You are encouraged to follow Matador on Facebook and Instagram.