Gold Emblem seemed to start appearing in stores about three years ago. This Gold Emblem jerky brand seems to be a replacement to the Clover Valley jerky brand, although that is not verified. While CVS Pharmacy, Inc. ditributes this jerky, I generally refer to this jerky as Dollar Store jerky. The quality of Dollar Store jerky has come a long way in the last dozen years. This Gold Emblem jerky brand is distributed under the name of CVS Pharmacy, Inc., and it is located in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
The first review on Gold Emblem will focus on a 2.85 ounce/81 gram bag of their original flavored beef jerky. This flavor is described as being made with solid strips of beef that are perfectly seasoned and smoked to achieve a savory, smoky flavor everyone loves. The bag was purchased at a Dollar Store in Lewiston, New York.
Ingredients: Beef, Water, Sugar, Less Than 2% of Salt, Soy Sauce [(Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Maltodextrin], Flavorings, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Yeast Extract, Citric Acid, Vinegar, Cultured Cane Sugar. Allergen Warnings: Soy, Wheat
The beef used is not guaranteed to be free of growth hormones or additional antibiotics. Also, the beef is not guaranteed to have at least partial free range access to graze on grass. As a result, the highest ingredient rating that can be awarded is a Good (8/10) rating.
There are no healthy ingredients listed. The vague term flavorings are used, which can contain healthy and unhealthy ingredients.
The sugar level is a bit high 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 very high at 590mg of salt to lose another rating. Our preference is 350mg of salt or less per 28 grams of jerky.
This jerky does qualify to have no sodium nitrite or any other similar unhealthy preservatives. This flavor does not qualify to have no MSG added as the cheap, highly processed flavor enhancer hydrolyzed corn protein is used to lose a rating.
In lieu of having no healthy ingredients listed, a rating is deducted with nothing to offset the high salt level.
GOLD EMBLEM – ORIGINAL BEEF JERKY
Written by guest jerky reviewer Paul Rekker
When I open the bag, I’m not quite sure what it is I’m smelling, but it does not smell good. The pieces are medium to large in size, and they are sliced rather thick. The jerky is hard and dry, the way our forefathers intended it to be. There is no oily residue left on your fingers handling these jerky strips.
When I bite into the jerky, the first flavors I encounter are salt, at a high level (which is good), sugar (also at a high level, which is not so good), along with lighter hints of garlic and potentially some onion in the background.
To my total surprise, I am actually enjoying this ‘dollar store’ brand of jerky. It is by no means blowing me away, but it certainly tastes better than my original bias anticipated how it would taste. While I’m not going to be running to my nearest establishment to buy some, it is what I would deem to be an acceptable flavor. One that I would liberally rate as an 8/10, and conservatively a 7/10. Gentlemen?
Here is what Mark had to say about this original beef jerky flavor from Gold Emblem: “Thanks Paul for the honest taste review. True in that this jerky does not quite come across as ‘Dollar Store’ jerky, but this original flavor is by no means impressive tasting. This flavor is a tad sweet tasting with an omnipresent smoked flavor in the background. I was at a 5 rating, but cannot award any higher than an Alright (6/10) taste rating.”
This resealable professional-looking plastic bag has everything imprinted on the bag, including the front and back. There is a high-resolution picture of jerky strips on the front.
A slogan printed on this bag is “We’re Gold Emblem: Our Standard is Delicious”. Some facts printed on this bag are “Made With Premium Strips of Beef” “97% Fat Free”, “80 Calories”, “0g Sat Fat”, “590mg Sodium”, “4g Sugars”, “1g Fat”, and “12g Protein”
There are no bag categories missing. On the back is a good blurb about this flavor. To the credit of CVS Pharmacy, a toll-free number is provided for customer inquiries.