This review will focus on a 3.25 ounce/92 gram bag of Shur Fine beef jerky. Back in December 2014, while getting off the i81 interstate to fill up with gas, this bag was purchased at a store named Greggs Market Place. They are located in a small city named Marathon, New York.
This Shur Fine brand of jerky is distributed by Western Family Foods, Inc., based out of Portland, Oregon. Western Family Foods, Inc. sells many food products, and not just jerky. This jerky is manufactured by the private labeler company Marfood USA, located in Taylor, Michigan. That would make this jerky a stock recipe.
As printed on the bag, “Contains beef from one or more of the following sources: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Uruguay and The United States”. That means this jerky is using imported beef. Before 2010, it was fairly common to see this warning. Unfortunately, jerky makers are no longer legally obligated to state the origin of their beef.
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 sugar level is somewhat high at 6 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. Our preference is 3 grams of sugar or less. The salt level is extremely high at 600mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky. Our preference is 250mg of salt or less.
These strips are medium to small in size, sliced to a medium thickness. The texture is somewhat soft and tender, but not quite. Occasionally, there are wads of meat that are difficult to chew. There is very little fat on this jerky, and handling this jerky leaves a little oily residue on your fingers.
The first taste detected is the meat flavor, but it has a processed taste. There is hardly any natural meat flavor, where it has an unnatural taste. Being a peppered flavor, the peppery taste is noticeable. While the pepper level never exceeds a mild level, it is fairly apparent that you are eating a peppered flavor.
There is a mild soy taste, and the sweetness level is moderate. With the processed beef taste being so dominant, this jerky does not taste too salty. Overall, there is nothing special tasting about this jerky.
This is a stock type of bag, meaning apart from the logo, and distributor details, this bag design is shared between many jerky makers. Everything is imprinted directly on the bag itself on both the front and the back. There are no labels affixed to this bag.
A signature slogan on Marfood USA bags is “Soft and Tender”, although this jerky was not all that soft or tender. There are facts printed on this bag such as “97% Fat Free”, “11 grams of protein per 1 oz. serving”, and “Great on-the-the-go Snack!”.
Most bag categories are covered. While there is a blurb printed on the back, it is generic, and shared between all jerky brands that use this bag design. The blurb starts off “Inside awaits the most tender beef jerky…”.