Trails End Buffalo Stix Cranberry Craze grew from concept to reality with the help of scientists at the Food Center in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada in 2004. The snack was available solely in Saskatchewan until Canadian Federal Food Inspection Agency approval in 2009 made Buffalo Stix available across Canada. The founders Kevin and Judy Wilkinson were one of the top 10 entrepreneurs named by Food in Canada in 2005. The Trails End Bison Ranch is nestled in the boreal forest on the shores of Turtle Lake, Saskatchewan. Bison have been roaming the land under the stewardship of Kevin and Judy since 1977, and they have always sold quality natural meat products. Made with only the finest select cuts of Western Canadian Bison combined with succulent cranberries, the stix are hickory smoked to create a soft, moist product that is easy to chew. Trails End is distributed under the same name of Trails End, and they are located in Livelong, Saskatchewan, Canada.
The first review on Trails End will focus on a 1.4 ounce/40 gram bag of their Cranberry Craze flavored buffalo stix. This flavor is advertised as natural smoked bison meat with cranberries. The bag was kindly submitted for review by one of the owners, Judy Wilkinson.
Ingredients: Bison, Cranberries, Dextrose, Brown Sugar, Sea Salt, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Garlic Powder, Black Pepper, Smoke.
In general, buffalo meat is leaner compared to beef, and buffalo meat is higher in minerals such as iron. These buffalo are sourced from Rangleland located in Alberta. The buffalo used are guaranteed to have been ethically raised, meaning not administered growth hormones. These buffalo are also guaranteed to have at least some partial free range access to roam about. As a result, the ingredient rating starts at an Excellent (10/10) taste rating.
The texture of this jerky is chopped and formed. As a result, without having a natural whole muscle sliced strip of jerky, two ingredient ratings are deducted.
There are some healthy ingredients used such as cranberries, garlic powder, and black pepper. cranberries are known to have multiple health benefits.
For a sweet based flavor as we have here, the sugar level is acceptable at around 4.2 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is a little high at around 392mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky. Our preference is 350mg of salt or less per 28 grams. However, the salt levels are ignored because minimally processed healthy sea salt is used.
This jerky does not qualify to have no sodium nitrite, as similarly unhealthy sodium tripolyphosphate is used as a preservative to lose a rating. Commendably, this jerky has no MSG added.
Very Good (9/10) – Ingredient Rating
Written by guest jerky reviewer Stéphane Leclerc
The Trail’s End Cranberry Craze Buffalo Stix has a pleasant smokiness with a light touch of garlic and black pepper. These meat sticks are sprinkled with a few sweet notes while also blending with the exquisite sourness of cranberries. The cranberries are the star of the show; they nicely bring all the flavors together and deepen this wonderful flavor profile.
The buffalo meat is rich in flavor while still retaining a lean and clean taste. Although slightly “gamey”, the gamey taste is rather light and pleasant. These “stix” feel a little upscale and different in comparison with other more common meat sticks. These pieces of meat do taste lightly processed, as it is often the case with chopped and formed textures.
Each piece is uniform and they are portioned in 20 gram “stix” with a luxuriant thickness. They are soft, tender and easy to chew, as it is often the case with this chopped and formed texture.
The Trail’s End Cranberry Craze Buffalo Stix delivers as advertised. It is a genuine and tasty representation of Natural Smoked Bison Meat and Cranberries. Although, this meat snack is lacking a great “WOW” factor, we couldn’t find any other real technical issue with this flavor.
The Trail’s End Cranberry Craze Buffalo Stix is a tasty and relatively addictive snack; we’ve awarded a Very Good 9/10 taste rating. Cheers!
This 1.4 ounce/40 gram bag of jerky sells for $6.00. That works out to $4.26 an ounce, which rates as an expensive price for buffalo jerky.
Very Good (9/10) – Taste Rating
This small clear plastic bag has a label affixed to the front, and nothing on the back. As part of Trails End logo there is a drawing of a buffalo. The bag thickness is rather thick and sturdy.
There are no facts or slogans printed on this bag.
The only bag categories missing are a best before date, and a blurb printed about Trails End or this flavor, albeit there is no room. There does appear to be a batch number printed, which could likely translate to a best before date. Admirably, a phone number is printed for customer inquiries. As per Canadian law, there are French translations provided.
Order their jerky online: www.trailsendbuffalostix.com
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