The first review on Itsumo will focus on a 2.5 ounce/70.8 gram bag of their sweet flavored ahi tuna jerky. Itsumo is a Japanese word that translates to always, where they are always trying to improve. This bag was kindly submitted for review by the Itsumo Foods team.
Itsumo is distributed by DML Venture, Inc., and are based out of Miami, Florida. The owner, David Leibowitz, has been living in the Tuna capital of the world, Tokyo, Japan for over 18 years. During that time, David has learned to create high quality, grade AAA #1 Japanese Sashimi Grade Ahi Tuna products. Itsumo is a world leader in Sashimi Ahi production with 15 tons processed daily. All of their products use hand line caught tuna from the Philippines, and they combine that with all natural ingredients. This tuna jerky product line was officially launched in 2015.
Ingredients: Yellowfin Tuna (Thunnus Albacares), Cane Sugar, Tapioca Maltodextrin, Sorbitol, Soy Sauce Powder (Soybeans, Rice, Rock Salt), Sea Salt, Yeast Extract. Contains 2% or Less of Natural Flavor, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Onion Powder, Spice. Allergen Warnings: Soy, Fish (Yellowfin Tuna)
As provided on the Itsumo blog, this video details 20 amazing health benefits of tuna. To see why Itsumo ahi tuna is a step above their competitors, watch the informative video of David explaining all things tuna, where his passion certainly comes across well. It is reported that David is one of the only foreigners to be accepted in Tsukiji, Japan’s largest fish market.
There is no liquid marinade used here. The soy sauce is in powder form, and it has an interesting ingredient list.
Healthy spices are used, in addition to onion powder.
The sugar level is acceptable at 3 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is also acceptable at 281mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky.
This jerky does qualify to have no sodium nitrite, or any other similar unhealthy preservatives. Instead, sea salt is the main preservative used, with its healthy minerals and trace minerals. To a lesser degree, ascorbic acid also acts as a preservative. Commendably, this jerky qualifies to have no MSG added.
Excellent (10/10) – Ingredient Rating
These jerky strips are mainly small in size, and are sliced thin. The texture is fairly dry, but still relatively easy to chew. There are no signs of fat, and handling this jerky leaves no oily residue on your fingers.
At first the flavor profile takes on an odd soapy type of flavor. After you consume more strips, this flavor starts to grow on you, and gets better. The first flavors that jump out are the sweetness, and a fishiness taste that is not overbearing. This flavor certainly delivers on the sweet aspect, perhaps even just a bit too much.
Mixed in are light levels of soy and salt, and a faint black pepper taste. The onion flavor grows stronger as you eat more, and turns out to be a great combination with ahi tuna. Overall, this flavor delivers on that unmistakable taste of ahi tuna with some sweetness mixed in.
A 2.5 ounce/70.8 gram bag sells online for $8.99. That works out to $3.60 an ounce, which rates as an expensive price. The price is cheaper if you buy a 3 pack or a 6 pack. If you enjoy high quality ahi tuna with sweetness added, you would be hard pressed to find a better tuna jerky product.
This resealable plastic bag has everything imprinted on it directly, both on the front and back. A plate of Ahi Tuna is displayed on the front.
Their slogans are “Always The Highest Quality Tuna, Naturally” and “The Healthy Snack!” Some facts printed on this bag are “Made From Japanese Sashimi Grade Ahi Tuna”, “Naturally High Protein | High in DHA (Omega 3) | Low in Fat”, “Minimally Processed”, “No Artificial Ingredients” and “All Hand Line Caught”.
A Dolphin Safe Product label is displayed, a Fish Fresh custom stamp created by David, and a Japanese “Hokojo” stamp, which means top / best quality.
The only bag category missing is a transparent window to view the jerky strips. A great, detailed blurb about Itsumo and tuna is printed on the back.
Order their jerky online: www.itsumofoods.com
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