Note: For a more current taste review on a tweaked bag design, new flavor name, and tweaked ingredient list, open up Pan’s Mushroom Jerky – Zesty Thai Mushroom Jerky (Recipe #2).
The next review on Pan’s Mushroom Jerky will focus on a 2.2 ounce/62 gram bag of their Thai Seasoning flavored shiitake mushroom jerky. This Thai seasoning flavor is described as being their most popular flavor yet, having a savory taste with a little kick. The jerky bag was graciously submitted for review by the Owner, Michael Pan.
Pan’s Mushroom Jerky is distributed by Panco Foods LLC, and they are located in Vancouver, Washington. It all started out with Michael visiting family in Borneo, Malaysia in 2007. Little did Michael know that there was a recipe in his family for over 30 years. Michael’s family in Malaysia were vegetarian Buddhists, and found mushroom jerky to be the perfect alternative to meat, with its meaty like texture. Michael knew that his family had something special that had to be shared with the rest of the world. After a lot of testing, Pan’s Mushroom Jerky was officially launched in 2008.
These non-organic shiitake mushroom stalks are a good source of protein, fiber, antioxidants, and are cholesterol free. They contain vitamin D, and are high on the minerals iron and selenium. As a result, the highest ingredient rating that can be awarded is a Very Good (9/10) rating.
Super healthy avocado oil is used, which contains beneficial fats. Coconut offer a multitude of health benefits. Chia seeds are high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, and especially omega 3 fats.
The sugar level is high at around 6 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. Our preference is 3 grams of sugar or less per 28 grams of jerky. Mushrooms contain small amounts of healthy natural sugars. The salt level is on the low side at around 220mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky.
This jerky qualifies to have no sodium nitrite, or any other similar unhealthy preservative. Instead, healthy Himalayan sea salt is the main preservative used. With more kudos to Pan’s Mushroom Jerky, this jerky has no MSG added.
Written by guest jerky reviewer Stéphane Leclerc
I’ve always been a fan of mushrooms and at home, I have them available at all times. I tend to have some everyday in various dishes. I really wanted to like this mushroom jerky and alas! I am lukewarm on this Thai Seasoning flavor by Pan’s Mushroom Jerky.
The aroma is rather strong and earthy. At first bite, the mushroom flavor is also undeniable and prominent. I was then greeted by a slight spicy kick probably related to the “Thai Seasoning” and a very light sweetness. I could detect a hint of garlic and a slight pinch of onion.
I can’t really tell if this is a well rounded “Thai Seasoning” flavor, as Thai flavors tend to be fresh and bright with a good balance between both spiciness and sweetness.
These morsels of mushrooms are small and sliced to a medium thickness while the texture is soft and tender and almost moist. These mushrooms are relatively easy to chew and handling these pieces does leave an oily residue on the fingers. The texture is rather fibrous unlike previously experienced with Pan’s Mushroom Jerky.
There are ongoing debates as to what place mushroom may have in the Jerky market. As I mentioned earlier, I love mushrooms and their umami flavor. They are generally very tasty with a pleasant and delicate texture and they are extremely healthy. They make a great substitute for meat jerky and a great option for vegetarians and vegans alike, as they probably don’t need further torture and misery. It also appears that mushroom jerky sales have been on the rise from year to year.
I’d like to address some of the confusion regarding the Umami flavor. As per the Merriam-Webster: “Umami is a taste sensation that is meaty or savory and is produced by several amino acids and nucleotides (such as glutamate and aspartate)”.
Therefore, Umami is a pleasant savory taste imparted by glutamate, a type of amino acid and ribonucleotides, including inosinate and guanylate which occur naturally in many foods such as meat, fish, vegetables and dairy products.
Many people if not all people enjoy umami flavors. While mushrooms can substitute for meat, they appeal to our taste for protein thanks to higher levels of umami-related compounds.
The Shiitake mushroom drying process increases their guanylate content while allowing concentration and providing glutamate, thus boosting their umami flavor. Dried shiitake mushrooms have levels of naturally occurring glutamate of 1060mg/100g and levels of naturally occurring guanylate of 150mg/100g.
Although, I find this Thai Seasoning flavor by Pan’s Mushroom Jerky fine, I am not smitten by its flavor or texture. We’ve awarded this mushroom jerky 8/10 rating.
Note that the bag design has since been updated.
This plastic non-resalable bag has labels affixed to both the front and back.
There are no slogans printed on this bag. Some facts printed on the bag are “Sweet”, “Savory”, and “Sustainable”.
Some bag categories are a nutrition facts table and a best before date. There is a very good blurb printed on the front explaining Pan’s Mushroom Jerky. The @mushroomjerky social media handle is provided for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Order their jerky online: www.mushroomjerky.com