The next review on Jeff’s Famous Jerky will focus on a 2.75 ounce/78 gram bag of their Jamaican Jerk flavored beef jerky. As a somewhat new flavor, this seasonal flavor is described as Jeff’s Famous Jerky going all the way to Jamaica to import the finest authentic Jamaican Jerk seasoning, and their famous Scotch Bonnet Pepper sauce to use for this innovative jerky recipe. This bag was graciously submitted for review by co-owner Jeff Richards.
It all started in the 70’s when Jeff Richards purchased a dehydrator from a county fair. Jeff’s mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother were all gourmet cooks. Many of the jerky recipes used today were refined for three decades. With more than 20 years of experience in the food industry, Jeff was ready to launch his jerky brand but wanted a reliable business partner. Through social media, Jeff reconnected with an old trusted friend Mike Aggarwal who himself had more than 25 years of experience in the food industry. In 2010, at the ages of 55 and 62, this Jeff’s Famous Jerky brand was launched with an old-fashioned handshake. Impressively, to date, over 1,000,000 bags of jerky have been sold. Jeff’s Famous Jerky brand is distributed under the name of Jeff’s Famous Foods, Inc., and they are located in Mission Veijo, California.
Ingredients: Beef, Brown Sugar, Soy Sauce (Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Worcestershire Sauce (Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Distilled Vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce Base (Distilled Vinegar, Molasses, Corn Syrup, Water, Salt, Caramel Color, Garlic Powder, Sugar, Spices, Tamarind, Natural Flavor), Jerk Seasoning (Onion, Escallion, Jamaican Scotch Bonnet Pepper, Jamaican Pimento, Ginger, Garlic, Spices, Vinegar, Salt, Citric Acid), Rice Vinegar, Balsamic Vinegar, Cayenne Pepper, Natural Smoke Flavoring, Granulated Garlic, Cumin, Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce (Scotch Bonnet Peppers, Salt, Vinegar, Citric Acid). Allergen Warnings: Soy, Wheat
The beef used here is guaranteed to be ethically raised 98% of the time, meaning free of growth hormones or additional antibiotics. There is not a 100% guarantee offered because sometimes the beef used cannot keep up with the demand. These cattle are not guaranteed to have at least partial free range access to roam about. As a result, the highest ingredient rating that can be awarded is a Very Good (9/10) rating.
This liquid marinade here is comprised of a decent soy sauce, a fair Worcestershire sauce, super healthy balsamic vinegar, healthy rice vinegar, and a good brand of scotch bonnet pepper sauce. It is disappointing to see that the Worcestershire sauce used the highly processed unhealthy sweetener high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to lose a rating.
There are multiple healthy ingredients added such as fresh garlic, onion, escallion, Jamaican pimento, ginger, and cumin. The heat is achieved here using cayenne pepper and Jamaican scotch bonnet peppers.
The sugar level is good at 2 gram of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is also good at 160mg 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. Admirably, this jerky qualifies to have no MSG added.
Good (8/10) – Ingredient Rating
These strips of jerky are mainly medium in size, and sliced to a medium thickness. The texture is somewhat soft and dry, requiring a normal effort to chew. This cut of beef certainly seems to be brisket, with its stringiness. The aroma is of soy and the unmistakable jerk seasoning.
The first tastes encountered are a soy to Worcestershire sauce ratio, light saltiness, heat, and a mild sweetness. Chewing more brings on an awesome authentic tasting jerk seasoning at a mild level. There is a great balance between the sweetness, heat, smokiness, saltiness, and acidity from the vinegar.
The heat from the scotch bonnet peppers sneaks up on you and packs a punch. On a heat scale, the heat levels off at a solid 2 out of 4.
Here is Paul’s take on this Jamaican Jerk flavor: “The first flavors I encounter are salt, pepper, lemon, slight sweet, thankfully not too much, and natural beef. In the background I believe I am tasting the ‘Jamaican jerk’ flavor, but it is not as prevalent as I would have liked. I love the taste of Jamaican jerk, so this flavor really drew my intrigue, but it is slightly lacking in the jerk, so I am inclined to rate it as a 9/10. Overall, very tasty, but just a little shy on the jerk flavor.”
So is the jerk seasoning level not strong enough? We shared this Jamaican Jerk flavor with a guy born in Jamaica. He concurred with Paul, the jerk seasoning level needs to be intensified.
This 2.75 ounce/78 gram bag is currently on sale and sells online for $5.79. That works out to $2.11 an ounce, which rates as a cheap price. Free shipping is offered on orders over $50.
Very Good (9/10) – Taste Rating
This white resealable plastic bag has a label affixed to the front, and nothing on the back. The background depicts some trees located in Jamaica. On the label this Jamaican Jerk flavor is identified to be a 4 out of 5 (Medium Hot) on a heat index.
There are no slogans printed on this bag. Some facts printed on this bag are “Jamaican Jerk Style”, “Natural Smoke Flavoring Added”, and “Special Edition Series”.
The only bag category missing is a blurb printed about Jeff’s Famous Jerky, and this Jamaican Jerk flavor. To the credit of Jeff’s Famous Jerky, there is a toll free phone number provided for customer inquiries.
Order their jerky online: www.jeffsfamousjerky.com
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