In late December 2013, while visiting New York, New York, I purchased a 3.25 ounce/92 gram bag of KRAVE Jerky at a store on 5th Avenue. This review will focus on their Black Cherry Barbecue pork jerky flavor.
The KRAVE Jerky brand name is distributed by Krave Pure Foods, Inc., located in Sonoma, California. They advertise their jerky as containing no MSG added, and no sodium nitrite, overall a healthy product. Jon Sebastiani started this company in 2009. While training for the NYC marathon, he yearned for a healthy way to satisfy his appetite.
Ingredients: Pork, Evaporated Cane Syrup, Water, Tomato Paste, Honey, Cherries, Sea Salt, Red Wine Vinegar, Natural Black Cherry Syrup, Molasses, Spices (Paprika, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder), Citric Acid, Celery Juice Powder.
We have a busy and interesting liquid marinade used here with evaporated cane syrup, water, tomato paste, honey, red wine vinegar, natural black cherry syrup, and molasses. Tomatoes have high concentrations of the healthy antioxidant lycopene.
The sugar level is very high at 9 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. A barbecue based flavor is normally sweet by nature. As a result, our preference is 5 grams of sugar or under. The salt level is acceptable at 320mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky. Seeing how healthy sea salt is used, the salt level is irrelevant.
This jerky does qualify to have no sodium nitrite added. Instead, apart from salt, the main preservative used is celery juice powder with its naturally occurring nitrates. Also, to a lesser degree citric acid is a preservative, where the quality of citric acid can vary widely. Admirably, this jerky also qualifies to have no MSG added.
The jerky strips are medium thickness, and mostly medium sized pieces. This jerky is advertised as having a soft and tender texture, but falls a bit short. Nonetheless, this jerky is relatively easy to chew. There is no residue left on your fingers while handling this jerky, and there is no fat to be seen anywhere.
The black cherry taste is definitely the prominent flavor, very appealing if you enjoy the cherry fruit flavor, where real cherries are used, along with natural black cherry syrup. The barbecue flavor is provided mainly by the tomato paste, which is mild and pleasant tasting, but not overly strong. There is certainly a sweet taste to this jerky. The salty taste is at a mild level.
Overall, an impressive unique flavor, where cherry and barbecue make an interesting combination. The only complaint is that this jerky is too sweet tasting.
I paid an incredible $9.99 for this 3.25 ounce/92 gram bag in New York City. Using prices from the KRAVE Jerky web site, a 3.25 ounce/92 gram bag retails for $7.00, which works out to $2.15 an ounce. That works out to an average price. Considering that relatively good ingredients are used, this pork jerky is decent value for your money.
This is a standard resealable plastic bag. Everything is imprinted directly on the bag itself, both on the front and back. There are no labels affixed. This a bright, eye catching bag design. There are many random images and jerky sayings in the red part of this bag.
The KRAVE Jerky logo is of a person running. Some slogans printed on this bag are “All Natural”, “Gluten Free”, “Good Source of Protein”, ” Low Fat”, “No Artificial Ingredients”, “Minimally Processed”, “Live a Cut Above”, “Product of USA”, “Move. Eat. Live. KRAVE.”, and “ENJOY”.
All bag categories are covered here with this bag. There is a good blurb printed on the back of this bag describing KRAVE Jerky and this Black Cherry Barbecue flavor. They state “It’s pork without the fork!”
Order their jerky online: www.kravejerky.com