Over a year and a half ago, Uncle Andy’s Jerky shut down production to search for a better way to fulfill Andy’s vision of rapid innovation. As of May 1, 2018, Uncle Andy’s Jerky launched a Kickstarter campaign to reach Andy’s goal of making the most flavorful small batch jerky in the market. Everybody is encouraged to support Uncle Andy’s Jerky Kickstarter campaign, which ends on May 31/2018, and offers jerky rewards. The next review on Uncle Andy’s Jerky will focus on a 1 ounce/28 gram bag of their Ginger Habanero flavored turkey jerky, which may not be a finalized product yet. This jerky bag was kindly submitted for review by the owner, Andy Hanenberg.
Uncle Andy’s Jerky is distributed under the same name of Uncle Andy’s Jerky, and it is located in Fort Collins, Colorado. The vision for Uncle Andy’s Jerky was born in the fall of 2012 with Andy starting to make homemade jerky. Inspired by the craft beer industry, Uncle Andy’s Jerky continued to experiment and evolve. Andy’s goal today is to adopt a 3 tier model with core flavors sold year round, seasonal flavors, and small batch limited run flavors. While their jerky flavors are still in development, the plan is to release a new flavor each month with it only being available for 2 months. Recently, Uncle Andy’s Jerky found an opportunity to share space with a small USDA processing facility, which will allow them to produce Uncle Andy’s Jerky themselves, and help achieve their vision of rapid innovation.
Ingredients: Turkey, Maple Sugar, Spices, Sea Salt, Citric Acid, Dehydrated Garlic, and Chili Pepper.
On the whole, turkey is a leaner and healthier choice of meat compared to using beef. Turkeys raised in the US are not allowed to receive growth hormones. There is no guarantee that the turkey have free range access to roam about. As a result, the highest ingredient rating possible is Very Good (9/10).
There are some healthy ingredients added such as spices and dehydrated garlic. Ginger offers many health benefits, acting as an anti-inflammatory with its powerful medicinal properties.
The heat is achieved from the chili peppers and habanero peppers. Hot peppers are healthy if eaten in moderation, which flush toxins out of the body.
There is no nutrition facts table provided. As a result, the exact sugar and salt levels are unknown.
This jerky qualifies to have no sodium nitrite, or any other similar unhealthy preservative. Instead, sea salt is the main preservative used. Citric acid also acts as a preservative to a lesser extent. With more kudos to Uncle Andy’s Jerky, this jerky has no MSG added.
Very Good (9/10) – Ingredient Rating
Written by guest jerky reviewer Stéphane Leclerc
Although I do not really smell the ginger or the Habanero, I do find a pleasant and fresh aroma.
The first flavors are of mild salt, black pepper, slight garlic with ginger and some mild notes of sweetness and spiciness. There is a noticeable amount of natural turkey flavor. This jerky is defined as a Ginger and Habanero flavor and both could be more accentuated. After carefully chewing a few more bites, they along with a sprinkle of salt become more apparent. The spiciness is originally barely detectable and eventually rises to 1.5 – 2.0 on the heat scale.
It could be argued this flavor is not spicy enough. Per Mark, Habanero by definition brings the expectation the flavor should carry some heat. I agree to disagree, I believe the spicy level is relative as some may enjoy it more or less or have built more tolerance than others. I personally appreciate the flavor intricacies of such a great ingredient. On the other hand, I don’t enjoy the pain from the burn so much; I find that it simply interferes with the flavor. Furthermore, I also really enjoy driving a bunch of nails into a board but the experience loses some of it luster when I smash the hammer full tilt into my sadly unexpecting fingers.
Mark said: The heat level here is a joke and an insult for a habanero flavor. Had I been an unknowing customer at a convenience store, I would be disappointed with the heat level here, where the heat level is not even close to what the heat level should be for a habanero flavor. Paul also stated: As I eat more strips, I am picking up a little bit more of the heat, but still not enough to warrant the “habanero” label.
Personally, the heat level is not stated on the bag and it is safe to believe the odds of this jerky being mild are probably equivalent to the odds of being extremely spicy. As with any other hot pepper, the spiciness can be as mild or as spicy as the pepper will allow. In other words, there shouldn’t be any preconceived ideas or expectations other than the expectation to cater to a targeted audience or a segment of the market. Until the habanero police come knocking on my door and state otherwise, I’ll keep believing these simple facts. In the mean time, Woohoo, I am living large! I’ll continue appreciating all these great and lovely flavors without the pain often associated with it.
Anyway, some people may have a lot of fun playing a good game “Rochambeau” followed with a lot of holding hands and singing “Kumbaya” but I’ll stay away from that too.
These turkey strips are small in size and sliced rather thin. The texture is dry and chewy; it leaves no oily residue on the fingers and it is reasonably easy to chew. The heat and the ginger levels are unfortunately inconsistent between strips and do vary by a fair margin.
Again, some do not find anything really compelling about this flavor. However, I am certain many others such as myself will love this flavor. They will certainly enjoy this jerky and possibly even more if the flavors were more consistent. I’d probably recommend this jerky to fans of turkey or lean meat with the brightness of ginger followed by the flavor and light touch of spiciness from the habanero. It would also be favorable to adequately describe and state the spiciness level in order to address some of the confusion.
In the end, I am fairly certain Uncle Andy’s Jerky’s goal was to appeal and cater to a larger segment of the market. I was much more favorable in my review, as I did enjoy this jerky and I believe everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy the taste of habanero and other great hot peppers on their own terms. We’ve averaged our scores and gave this jerky an 8/10 taste rating.
A 2 ounce/58 gram bag of jerky would sell online for $6.99, which works out to $3.50 an ounce. That would rate as an expensive price.
Note that this is just a sampler bag, where the real production bag would be different.
This clear resealable bag has a label affixed to the front, and nothing on the back. There is a picture of a turkey on the front of the bag.
There are no slogans printed on this bag. Some facts printed on this bag are “Sample” and “Made in the USA”.
Some bag categories missing are a best before date, a nutrition facts table, a USDA inspected logo, distributor address details, bar code, and no blurb printed about Uncle Andy’s Jerky.
Check out their web site: www.uncle-andys-jerky.com
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