Note: For a current live taste review on a tweaked bag design, open up Damn Good – Sweet & Spicy Beef Jerky (Review #3).
This sweet & spicy flavored bag of beef jerky made by Damn Good Foods was an early addition to my jerky bag collection. It was purchased in 2009 at a country store in Penn Yan, New York, which is in the Finger Lakes region near Lake Keuka. There is no denying that ‘Damn Good’ is a catchy, provocative name. Damn Good beef jerky is made in Stillwater, New York. Rather than describe the company in my own words, I will just copy what they have on their web site, which is quite interesting.
“None of us had any experience in the food industry. Our backgrounds include construction, sales, and every facet of floor care. We view our lack of knowledge as an asset. Since we don’t subscribe to the traditional ways of producing products, we have taken great steps to find out how to get the best results. If you dislike the way something is being done, change the rules and do it your way. The outcome can always be better.”
Ingredients: Beef (top round), Water, Brown Sugar, Honey, Seasonings (Salt, Sugar, Garlic, Black Pepper), Soy Sauce (Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Pineapple Juice, Cayenne Pepper, Tabasco Sauce (Vinegar, Red Pepper, Salt), Black Pepper, Liquid Smoke, Garlic Powder, White Pepper Allergen Warnings: Soy, Wheat
The beef used is not guaranteed to be free of growth hormones or additional antibiotics. Also, the beef is not guaranteed to have at least partial free range access to graze on grass. As a result, the highest ingredient rating that can be awarded is a Good (8/10) rating.
We have an interesting liquid marinade consisting of an average soy sauce, water, healthy honey, pineapple juice, hickory liquid smoke, and Tabasco sauce. Pineapples have a powerful enzyme named bromelain which acts as a meat tenderizer which degrades the meat’s tough fibres, and is used in the food industry for that exact reason.
The sugar level is alarmingly high at 12 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. Even for a sweet based flavor, the preference is to use 5 grams of sugar or less per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is also alarmingly high at 450mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky. Our preference is to see 350mg of salt or less used.
As advertised, the jerky has a texture, which is neither too tough, nor too soft. Being a sweet & spicy flavor, it is both spicy and sweet, but not overly sweet or hot. It does have a tasty flavor though, especially for somebody who enjoys both spicy and sweet flavors.
This was a 3.65 ounce/103 gram bag that cost $4.59, which equates to $1.26 per ounce. That would rate as a cheap price. Looking at their web site today, the price is $6.25, meaning $1.71 per ounce, which would still rate as a borderline cheap price range.
This clear, resealable plastic bag has a label affixed to the front, and nothing on the back. There is a good logo with a mean looking red bull blowing smoke out of its nostrils with rings around the smoke.
The bag has some facts printed such as: “Low Fat!”, “No Nitrates”, “No Preservatives” and “All Natural”.
The majority of bag categories are covered here. Most notably missing is a best before date, which is a pet peeve. To their credit, a phone number is provided for customer inquiries. Curiously, spicy is misspelled as spicey.