The next review on Van Cleave Dry Goods (aka VC Dry Goods) will be on a 3.05 ounce/86.4 gram bag of their apocalypse flavored beef jerky. This hot based flavor was kindly submitted for review by the owner, Adam Van Cleave.
The Van Cleave Dry Goods jerky brand name is based out of Frisco, Texas. Their jerky is distributed under the name of Van Cleave Dry Goods LLC., and was launched in October 2014. Rather than me describe the company, I will copy an excerpt from their well written web site.
“Van Cleave Dry Goods was founded for one purpose: to make truly delicious food from only the highest quality ingredients. Why? Well, we prefer to ask why not? Why not challenge the food mediocrity that has overtaken this country? Why not make a better class of food? From the superior quality of our ingredients, to the care that goes into making our goods – it is all extraordinary. If you have yet to try our goods, you are in for a delicious surprise. But be warned: Once you have a taste, everything else is just a waste.”
Ingredients: Angus Beef, Orange, Carrot, Tamri (Water, Soybeans, Salt, Wheat, Alcohol, Glucose), Tomato Sauce (Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste), Water, Salt, Less than 2% of: Dextrose, Tomato Fiber, Citric Acid, Spice, Natural Flavors), Smoked Sea Salt, Cilantro, Lime, Garlic, Allergen Warnings: Soy, Wheat
100% certified American-raised Angus beef is used in this jerky. It has been confirmed that the cattle have quite a bit of free range access to graze on grass, and roam about. As another bonus, the cattle used are ethically raised. There are no growth hormones given, and no antibiotics administered either.
The liquid marinade is comprised of only tamri soy sauce and tomato sauce. Both sauces use relatively healthy ingredients.
Easily the most interesting ingredient used is carrots, which surprisingly is the 4th highest ingredient used by weight. Carrots contain the powerful antioxidants lycopene and beta-carotene. These antioxidants are commonly found in fruits and vegetables that are red or orange in color.
While not a listed ingredient, this apocalypse flavor uses seven different chili peppers, as in the seven signs of the apocalypse. In general, hot peppers are healthy if eaten in moderation.
While the nutrition facts are not readily available, we are assured that the sugar level is low. The taste of this jerky attests to that. Also, the salt level is at a reasonable level.
The only preservative used here is salt. That qualifies this jerky to have no sodium nitrite, or any other similar unhealthy preservatives. Admirably, this jerky qualifies to have no MSG added.
Very Good (9/10) – Ingredient Rating
These are large strips that are sliced thin. The texture is surprisingly dry, but still relatively easy to chew because they are sliced so thin. There are no visible signs of fat, and handling this jerky leaves no oily residue on your fingers.
The first taste detected is a mild tomato taste. There is a good amount of natural beef flavor here with the absence of a sweet taste. The flavor rounds off with a moderate soy taste, a light lime taste, and the spiciness.
As you eat more jerky strips, the heat level does increase to the point that gives you a sweat. You could say that this is a moderate to medium level of heat depending on your tolerance for heat. The tomato sauce and lime does a good job of offsetting the heat.
Overall, this is a very tasty and pleasing blend of flavors that leaves you wanting more.
This 3.05 ounce/86.4 gram bag sells online for $8.00. That equates to $2.62 an ounce, which rates as an expensive price. This jerky is a very good buy for people who enjoy a hot flavor that does not go overboard in being too spicy.
Excellent (10/10) – Taste Rating
This resealable plastic bag is a bit narrower than most, where the contents appear quite full. There are professional labels affixed to both the front and back of this bag.
The Van Cleave Dry Goods logo is the initials ‘V.C.’ in what may be conceived as a wagon wheel. Their slogan is “Superior Quality. Superior Flavor”. There are several facts printed on this bag such as “No Nitrites”, “High Protein”, “Made in the USA”, and “Genuine Craft Jerky”.
There are some missing bag categories such as no nutrition facts table, no bar code, no hole at the top of the bag to hang on hooks, a missing soy allergen alert, and no USDA inspected stamp. In fairness, these are not requirements for Van Cleave Dry Goods. At this time, they do not sell wholesale yet.
The back of the bag has two world class blurbs about Van Cleave Dry Goods, and this apocalypse flavor. Also, to their credit, an email address is provided for customer inquiries or feedback, which is actually encouraged.
Order their jerky online: www.vcdrygoods.com
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