Jim Davis, the founder of Wild Ride beef jerky, grew up in Texas as a cattle rancher. He was determined to make a soft and tender texture of jerky. Eventually he patented a tenderization process, which can only be found in Wild Ride beef jerky. This tenderization process allows the jerky to reconstitute in water very quickly. This jerky is advertised as Cowboy Strips, which offers a thick piece of jerky that is tender to chew, and packed with flavor.
This 3.25 ounce/92 gram bag of teriyaki flavored beef jerky was purchased in 2009 at a convenience store in East Rutherford, New Jersey. I have seen Wild Ride beef jerky for sale in many states across the United States. Wild Ride is distributed by distinctive Brands, Inc., and they are located Boulder, Colorado.
Ingredients: Beef, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Teriyaki Sauce (Soy Sauce (Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Wine, Sugar, Water, Vinegar, Salt, Spices, Onion Powder, Succinic Acid, Garlic Powder, and less that 10% Sodium Benzoate as a preservative), Natural Hickory Smoke Flavoring, Salt, Sodium Nitrite Allergen Warnings: Soy, Wheat
The beef for this jerky is imported from USA, Uruguay, New Zealand, or Australia. You have to wonder how they keep this meat fresh travelling such long distances. 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.
The liquid marinade is just an average Teriyaki Sauce. On the front of the bag, there is a blurb stating “Made from Solid Strips of Naturally Smoked Beef Tenderized with Papain”. Papain is an enzyme found in papaya fruit, similar to the enzyme bromelain found in pineapples. Both are widely used in the food industry, which effectively tenderizes beef. Surprisingly that papaya juice is listed nowhere in the ingredient list.
The sugar level is fairly high at 7 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. A teriyaki flavor by definition should be sweet. Even so, 5 grams of sugar or under is preferred. The salt level is reasonable at 290mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky.
The strips of beef are medium to very thick. This jerky also had a very soft and tender texture. There is some oily residue left on your fingers while handling these jerky strips.
Back in 2009, I did not keep great notes on the taste. I do however remember being very disappointed with how it tasted, where I had high expectations. The taste was extremely strong, and odd tasting. I could not identify what I was tasting.
This 3.25 ounce/92 gram bag cost $5.00, which would be $1.54 an ounce. Using prices today from the Wild Ride web site, this bag costs $6.49, which equates to $1.99 per ounce, which qualifies as an average price.
Everything is imprinted directly on this resealable bag itself, both on the front and back. The graphic is a drawing of a cowboy on a horse by cactus plants.
There are no clearly defined slogans, unless you count “Cowboy Strips”. There are facts printed on this bag such as “Naturally Wood Smoked”, “Premium Cuts”, “Made from Solid Strips of Naturally Smoked Beef Tenderized with Papain”, “Packaged in the USA”, “Naturally Wood Smoked”, “97% Fat Free”, “Try All Flavors”, and “High in Protein”.
All major bag categories are covered. Really, the only thing missing is a blurb printed about this jerky and the flavor.