Lee’s Market was founded in 1962 on the premise of providing quality products at a convenience to customers in the Newport, Michigan area. Since then, they have grown to a staple in Southeastern Michigan for jerky, as what many of their customers believe to be “The Best Jerky Around”. All their artisan jerky is 100% USDA approved, hand sliced, house-brined, and wood smoked.
Currently, Lee’s Market is owned by husband and wife Danny and Carrie Bergmoser. The jerky choices are beef, poultry, elk, or venison, with about a dozen flavors available. Lee’s Market is one of Southeastern Michigan’s best kept secrets. This Lee’s Market jerky brand is distributed under the same name as Lee’s Market, and it is located in Newport, Michigan, USA.
The next review on Lee’s Market will focus on a 8 ounce/226.8 gram bag of Maple Jalapeno flavored beef jerky. This flavor is described as the perfect balance of sweet and spicy that certainly gives your taste buds a wake-up call. The jerky was graciously submitted for review by the co-owner, Carrie Bergmoser.
Beef, Water, Distilled Vinegar, Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Maple Sugar, Brown Sugar, Sugar, Jalapeno Peppers, Molasses, Spices, Anchovies, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Sodium Benzoate, Protein Dextrose, Potassium Sorbate, Less Than 2% Silicon Dioxide, Citric Acid, Tamarin Extract. Allergen Warnings: Soy, Anchovies
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.
The liquid marinade is comprised of water and healthy distilled vinegar.
Some healthy ingredients are added, such as anchovies and spices, which include black pepper. The heat is achieved by using jalapeno peppers, which are healthy if eaten in moderation.
The sugar level is very low at less than 1 gram of sugar per 28g grams of jerky. The salt level is off the charts high at 880mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky to lose a rating. Our preference is 350mg of salt or less per 28 grams of jerky.
This jerky does not qualify to have no sodium nitrite added as similar preservatives potassium sorbate, and sodium benzoate is used to lose a rating. This jerky does not qualify to have no MSG added as monosodium glutamate is used outright to lose another rating. The highly processed, cheap flavor enhancer hydrolyzed soy protein is used to lose another rating.
Fair (4/10) – Ingredient Rating
LEE’S MARKET – MAPLE JALAPENO BEEF JERKY
Written by guest jerky reviewer Paul Rekker
When I open the bag I smell vinegar, spice (the jalapeños), and natural beef. The strips are both quite large and quite thick. The jerky is soft and chewy, but it is not oily. There is no oily residue left on your fingers.
When I bite into the strips I immediately detect the salt and the pepper, both at very solid levels. There is a mild sweet flavor, but it is at a reasonable level.
The jerky is quite red in the middle, which is likely a good thing. I also detect the vinegar, and the jalapeño flavor is more noticeable as I consume more. You and Stephane may find the jerky to be too salty, but I like it. I am pretty confident in giving this jerky a 10/10, a solid treat.
Written by guest jerky reviewer Stéphane Leclerc
The Lee’s Market – Maple Jalapeño Beef Jerky aroma and texture are very pleasant. These thick tender strips are awesome, and the texture adds some humph to the jerky and an upscale touch to the product. The first flavor is somewhat overwhelming saltiness. The sweetness is light, and the maple flavor is barely detectable. The Jalapeño flavor is also very light.
I find the flavor profile to be off balance where the Maple and Jalapeño do not shine through as advertised. The salt is not a flavor on its own, and it is usually meant to accentuate and balance other flavors.
I find this one to be rather disappointing to real fans of Maple and Jalapeño. I like salt as much as the next guy, but I don’t buy roast beef cause I like the taste of Horseradish and Yorkshire pudding or choose a shrimp cocktail on the menu for their cocktail or tartar sauce.
This jerky from experience with Lee’s Market could be so much more, and I’d rate this jerky somewhere around 8/10 Taste Rating.
Here is what Mark had to say about this Maple Jalapeno beef jerky flavor from Lee’s Market: “Thanks Paul and Stéphane for the candid taste reviews. I certainly side with Stéphane here. The saltiness is without question, too prevalent being a distraction. I could not detect any discernable flavor of maple. Yes, some sweetness is present, but not the distinct flavor of maple. Lastly, the heat from the jalapeno peppers is not strong at all. On a heat scale, the spiciness would barely rate a 1 out of 4.”
“Once again, the texture is fantastic, what I call steak strips with a good natural beef flavor. The overall taste profile is bold tasting if you can get around the saltiness. This flavor still tastes good but misses out on the maple flavor, arguably also on the jalapeno flavor, and is too salty for my liking. With Paul at a 10 rating, Stéphane at an 8 rating, and myself at a 7 rating, a Good (8/10) taste rating will be awarded.”
This 8 ounce/226.8 gram bag of beef jerky sells for $16.79. That works out to $2.10 an ounce, which rates as a cheap price.
This clear nonresealable plastic bag has a label affixed to the front and nothing on the back except a batch number sticker. There is an illustration of a pig holding two knives on the front. The bag is vacuum sealed, the best way to keep jerky fresh tasting.
A slogan printed is “Hand Crafted And Michigan Made”. There are no facts printed on this bag.
Some missing bag categories are a blurb about this jerky or flavor, slits to easily open the bag, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) stamp, and a best before date, although there is a batch number provided. To the credit of Lee’s Market, a phone number is provided for customer inquiries. A QR code is displayed linking to Lee’s Market website.
Order their jerky online: https://leesmarketjerky.com
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