The first review for Barbacoa Jerky will focus on a 3 ounce/85 gram bag of their original recipe flavored beef jerky. This flavor is described as being marinated with authentic, robust spices with a hint of sweet. The bag was purchased at a T.J. Maxx store in Lyndhurst, New Jersey.
The Barbacoa Jerky brand name is distributed under the name of A Blend LLC Company, and it is located in Vacaville, California. Barbacoa Jerky has Mexican roots, using only authentic Mexican recipes. The word barbacoa translates to an ancient technique of preparing and cooking meat using the perfect blend of exotic spices and tastes of Mexico. Barbacoa Jerky advertises their jerky to use 100% premium beef, sliced to a perfect cut, thoroughly marinated, and dried in their smokehouse. This form of cooking results in a moist and succulent meat known for its rich and strong flavors unique to Mexico’s land. There are currently five flavors for sale, all of them with a Mexican flair.
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 liquid marinade consists of apple juice, super healthy apple cider vinegar, and healthy lime juice. Apples contain a polysaccharide named pectin, which has antioxidant properties, and it is known to be very healthy.
The sugar level is high at 7 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. Our preference is 3 grams of sugar or less per 28 grams of jerky. In fairness, some of that sugar content is from the apple juice. The salt level is respectable at 320mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky.
This jerky does qualify to have no sodium nitrite, or any other similar unhealthy preservatives. Instead, salt is the main preservative used, and apple cider vinegar to a lesser extent. Admirably, this jerky does qualify to have no MSG added.
Written by guest jerky reviewer Stéphane Leclerc
The Barbacoa – Original Recipe Beef Jerky has a fragrant aroma. This pleasant fragrance is a mouth watering introduction to an uncommon beef jerky.
I am welcomed with a gentle and loving smack of garlic and paprika followed with a sweet kiss of brown and turbinado sugar. Although advertised as a hint of sweet, there is certainly more than just a tad but still well within reason. The saltiness is at a light to mild level.
Until now, we were unfamiliar with the Barbacoa flavor. We can therefore only imagine that the complexity of these flavors and this unique blend of spices is a good representation of what Barbacoa should be and taste like. We’ve learned Barbacoa sells in five flavors, with the Original being one of these five flavors. Barbacoa refers to a cooking style while using a typical blend of spices where oregano and cumin are likely part of this recipe. The oregano seems to come through lightly and not so much the cumin.
The subtle acidity brightens and makes this flavor profile fun and more appealing. It is certainly a welcome addition. The fruitiness and sweetness of the apples is light tasting. There is an undeniable amount of beautiful natural beef flavor followed with some smokiness in the background. This beautiful beef flavor adds a great tasting layer where all the other flavors gravitate around it. The smokiness rounds off these flavors nicely where ultimately; it makes this jerky a solid Original flavor.
These strips of beef are mostly medium in size and also sliced to a medium thickness. The texture is in between soft and dry and reasonably easy to chew.
We were not originally really blown away or “Wowed” by this jerky. However, it definitely grew on us. As we chewed one strip and then another, we discovered the complexity and the balance of this flavor profile. There was a greater than usual amount of jerky available for review. We had the opportunity to better sample, taste and appreciate its flavor profile while developing a better understanding and appreciation for this great beef jerky.
As this flavor kept growing on us, we ended up enjoying this beef jerky a great deal. Along the way, it became more and more appealing and addictive. We were hard pressed to even find a single fault with this delicious meaty Masterpiece. Although, the spices may not be quite as “Robust” as stated, this jerky is very tasty and far from being boring. We believe this flavor to be authentic as stated and we are proud to add this delicious flavor to our repertoire.
We would recommend this Barbacoa – Original Recipe Beef Jerky to all fans of great Original beef flavors. The beef is adequately showcased and respectfully represented with a Mexican flair. One certainly does not need to be Mexican to absolutely enjoy this delectable flavor.
I often write these reviews without a final taste rating in mind. I usually keep writing and describing to the best of my knowledge all the flavors, all the texture and aromas encountered along my journey. In the end, the taste rating always pops out of thin air, as it simply appears to writes itself.
This is certainly true with this jerky; I was somewhat skeptical and unimpressed at first glance. I stayed with it, I kept tasting and smelling more while discovering so much more. This same feeling is also shared and experienced by other members of our reviewing team.
We agreed on an Excellent 10/10 taste rating.
This resealable plastic bag has everything imprinted directly on the bag, both on the front and back. The Barbacoa Jerky logo has some flames coming out of the letter ‘A’. A graphic on the front depicts people cooking over a fire pit outdoors.
There are no slogans printed on this bag. Some facts printed on this bag are “Made With 100% Premium Beef”, “Authentic Mexican Recipe”, “All Natural”, “Minimally Processed, No Artificial Ingredients”, “High Protein”, “Low Fat”, “Gluten Free”, “11g Protein Per Serving”, and “1.5g Total Fat”.