This Primal Strips brand of jerky is distributed by Primal Spirit Foods Inc., and they are based out of Moundsville, West Virginia. In the late 90s, some walking buddies met an old Thai chef who introduced them to a meat alternative recipe that they believed was the best they had ever tasted. When all of their vegetarian friends agreed, they knew they were onto something special, and thus Primal Spirit Foods was born in 2001. After developing their recipes and cooking techniques, all they needed was a manufacturer. In Taiwan, they found chefs who had the expertise, and a manufacturing plant since 1959. Primal Strips declined to reveal the identity of this Taiwanese manufacturer. Today, Primal Strips offers three different types of vegan jerky: soy, shiitake mushroom, and seitan as we have here with this mesquite lime flavor, meaning it uses wheat protein.
Ingredients: Non-GMO Vital Gluten (Wheat Protein), Water, Unrefined Evaporated Cane Juice, Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce (Water, Non-GMO Soybeans, Wheat, Sea Salt), Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Fresh Lime Juice, Citric Acid, Chili, Sea Salt, Natural Vegetarian Spices, No MSG Added. Allergen Warnings: Soy, Wheat
The main ingredient used here is non-GMO vital gluten, which is comprised entirely of wheat protein, and known to resemble the texture of meat when cooked. There is debate if non-GMO vital gluten is healthy or not, which is mainly gluten. As a result, the highest ingredient rating that can be awarded is a Good (8/10) rating.
The liquid marinade consists of water, a decent unrefined evaporated cane juice, an impressive naturally brewed soy sauce, healthy fresh lime juice, and a good expeller pressed canola oil. Limes are loaded with vitamin C, and offer many health benefits.
The sugar level is a little bit on the high side at 4 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky to lose a rating. Our preference is 3 grams of sugar or less per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is just under our maximum threshold of salt at 347mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky.
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 Primal Strips, this jerky has no MSG added.
Written by guest jerky reviewer Stéphane Leclerc
Here goes Guys and Lexi!
The Primal Strips Meatless Vegan Jerky has been around since 2001 and it is sold throughout Canada, the US and England in a variety of six different flavors. We apparently can conclude there is a market out there for this vegan “jerky”. These strips are made in Taiwan and they tend to be sold at health food stores while been marketed as healthy.
Since this does not remotely fit a jerky definition by any mean, we are admittedly not in our comfort zone with vegan “jerky”. It should also be said: the word “Primal” used here is somewhat misleading, as this term mostly relates to unprocessed foods made or prepared without any added sugar. However, we still chose to keep an open mind and give this so called vegan “jerky” a whirl.
None of us were really over the moon after our first bite. The lime is probably the strongest flavor with a mild level of sweetness. I could also detect some sort of a “ketchup” like taste. I cannot comment on what Wheat Protein tastes like but I am reasonably certain it does not compare to a Filet Mignon or a lobster. The lime and the sweetness are at decent levels and taste generally good. The soy is also present and it helps with the overall flavor.
Although, I could smell a smoke like aroma, we could not taste the mesquite smoked flavor whatsoever. There is a slight kick to this flavor and good or bad, the more we chewed the more flavorful this jerky became. There is a strange and bothersome aftertaste lingering in the mouth and this strong taste can surprisingly last a long time. These strips have a pungent odor from an unknown origin, it is borderline offensive and unappealing.
This “jerky” is mostly uniform and rectangular in size; it is sliced medium to almost thick. The texture and feel certainly qualifies to be soft and tender but not so much with the actual chewing. The handling of these strips leaves a considerable oily residue on the fingers and a paper towel is definitely an asset while eating these strips. This “jerky” substance has a pale appearance and it loosely resembles meat to a certain degree.
This is obviously not real jerky where the most basic definition of jerky is “dried meat”. This texture is chewier and does not dissolve nearly as fast which is another less appealing quality of this “jerky”.
This “jerky” started tasting slightly better as we consumed more of our strip but we still could not find any pleasure, enjoyment or appreciation for this “jerky”. As such, we could not find any reason to recommend this snack other than recommending having a cocktail or a beverage nearby to wash away the aftertaste. We’ve generously awarded Primal Strips Meatless Vegan Mesquite Lime Jerky a Fair (4/10) taste rating.
At JerkyIngredient.com, we have a beautiful and young mascot named Lexi. She is a well mannered Whippet, she loves jerky and we sometimes seek her opinion, as she is also part of our team.
Last night, Mark gave Lexi a small piece of Vegan “Jerky”. We were all curious to find out her opinion. Lexi very much wanted to eat the “jerky” and she actually took the piece in her mouth on four separate occasions. In the end, she simply could not get herself to swallow and she ended up spitting it out before eventually giving up.
As determined as poor Lexi was, we simply can’t question or argue the sincerity or loyalty of a canine.
Long live our mascot, Lexi! …Hip! Hip! Hip! …Hooray!
DISCLAIMER: JerkyIngredient.com closely monitored all of the significant animal action. No animals were harmed during such action.”
Everything is imprinted directly on the plastic bag itself on the front, with nothing on the back. There are no labels affixed to this bag.
This jerky is vacuum sealed, the best way to keep jerky fresh tasting.
There are no slogans printed on this bag, unless you consider “Meatless Vegan Jerky” and “Seitan” as slogans. For the record, seitan translates to a high-protein vegetarian food made from cooked wheat gluten. Other than that, there are no facts printed on this bag.
The only bag category missing is a blurb printed about Primal Strips and this mesquite lime flavor. A K Parve symbol is displayed, meaning that this jerky is kosher certified. A loose definition of parve is that it not a meat or dairy product.
The bag displayed at the bottom was purchased at a Goodness Me store in Oakville, Ontario back in 2012. The only changes are some facts not displayed anymore, dried dill pickle is no longer a listed ingredient, and the transparent window was smaller.