Joel Babb, the owner of Kings Meat, childhood was spent on family farms in Southeast South Dakota. Back in those days the farm was self-sufficient and organic. About 20 years ago, Joel moved to Russia. Joel won Kings Meat Company in a poker game when the former owner went ‘all in’ and lost (most of that prior statement is true). The company has been in existence for over 12 years. All products sold meet the highest world standards, where the focus is on quality rather than quantity. In 2016, Kings Meat Company launched their Kings Meat jerky brand, which is advertised as using whole cuts of choice beef, and marinated in a special sauce with natural spices. Kings Meat jerky strips are suspended from hooks, and carefully dried at a precise temperature. This hanging process keeps the moisture/juice/flavor in the beef, as opposed to drying jerky strips flat on a tray. Kings Meat is distributed by Kings Meat Company, and it is located within Moscow city limits, also known as the Russian oblast of Moscow Oblast, Russia.
The next review for Kings Meat will focus on a 1.267 ounce/36 gram bag of their peppered flavored beef jerky. Joel teamed up with two new local partners who are experts in retail and distribution. One of the stickers on the bag also changed because Russia adapted a tracking system in July 2018 for all foods, tracing the inputs from producer to end consumer. The jerky bag was graciously submitted for review by the owner, Joel Babb.
Ingredients: Beef, Spices, Spice Extracts, E-300 (Ascorbic Acid), E-551 (Silicon Dioxide), Sugar, Salt, Himalayan Pink Salt, Sodium Nitrite.
The Russian black angus beef used here is sourced from Prime Beef, and is arguably even healthier than 100% grass-fed beef. Cattle are raised in the ecologically clean and fertile Kaluga and Voronezh regions. The cattle are fed a diet of grass and hay for most of their lives, and finished with non-GMO corn. To get more details, visit http://primebeef.ru/en. The beef used is guaranteed to be ethically raised, meaning free of growth hormones or additional antibiotics. These cattle also are guaranteed to have at least partial free range access to roam about. As a result, the ingredient rating starts at an Excellent (10/10) rating.
Healthy spices and spice extractives are used, which may include paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
A nutrition facts table is displayed on the bag, but the sugar and salt levels seem to be measured differently in Russia compared to North America. Judging on the saltiness and sweetness tastes alone, both the sugar and salt levels are within reason.
This jerky does not qualify to have no sodium nitrite, where sodium nitrite is used outright as a preservative to lose a rating. Commendably, there is no MSG added.
Very Good (9/10) – Ingredient Rating
These small strips of jerky are sliced to a mixture of thin and thick strips. The texture is more so on the soft and tender side, with almost a rubbery type of texture that requires a normal amount of effort to chew. Handing these strips of jerky leaves a fair bit of oily residue on your fingers as if they were pulled straight out of the dehydrator, where it’s recommended to have a paper towel handy. Some of the strips have visible signs of fat that certainly accentuate the natural beef flavor, and adds complexity. The aroma of this jerky is a strong, unique smell of beef that resembles a buttered popcorn fragrance.
The first flavor detected is the natural beef flavor, where the aroma of buttered popcorn translates into the taste also. This distinct flavor of beef is an acquired taste that grows on you, and arguably does have a superior taste compared to North American beef. We have been informed that the beef are finished off with non-GMO corn, which may be the source of this Russian bred exotic buttered flavor of beef at Prime Beef.
Other flavors detected are a mild level of saltiness, a light sweetness, garlic, and perhaps a hint of onion. We find that the black pepper level is not consistent from strip to strip, from bite to bite. For a peppered flavor as we have here, we would like to see a more consistent level of black pepper.
As you consume more strips, a slightly spicy kick develops from what appears to be cayenne pepper. While Paul would disagree with this assertion, Stephane and I felt that this profile tastes more like an original flavor as opposed to a peppered flavor.
Paul loved this peppered flavor, whereas while Stephane enjoyed this flavor, he felt it lacked pizzazz. In any case the superior taste of beef again steals the show here. To really enjoy the full experience of this peppered flavor, we suggest you follow the advice of Kings Meat and pair it with red wine or craft beer.
A 1.267 ounce/36 gram bag sells for around 200-250 rubles, which is converted to approximately $3.50-$4.00. That works out to $2.75 an ounce, which rates as an average price.
Very Good (9/10) – Taste Rating
This gray resealable plastic bag has everything imprinted directly on the bag, both on the front and back. A high resolution picture of jerky strips is displayed on the front. Cleverly, the jerky itself is packaged inside a vacuum sealed hidden bag, the best way to keep jerky fresh tasting.
Some facts printed on this bag are “Beef-Dried 100% Meat”, “Traditional North American Recipe”, “Handmade Without Any GMO or Dyes”, “100% Natural Meat”, “Source of Protein and Energy”, “Rich Protein”, “Low Fat Content”, “Without Dyes”, and “Ready To Eat”.
The only bag category missing is that there is no transparent window to view the actual jerky. There are some blurbs printed on the back that describe Kings Meat jerky. Their @kingsmeat.ru Facebook handle is provided.
Order their jerky online: www.kingsmeatjerky.ru
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