Trader Joe’s is a popular American grocery store chain known for its unique and eclectic selection of products. Founded in 1958 by Joe Coulombe, the Trader Joe’s brand name was created in 1967. Trader Joe’s has become famous for offering a variety of specialty and gourmet foods at relatively affordable prices. The store is often characterized by its friendly and quirky atmosphere, as well as its commitment to providing high-quality, engaging, and sometimes hard-to-find items.
Overall, Trader Joe’s has built a loyal following by offering a distinctive shopping experience with its unique product offerings, commitment to quality, and engaging store environment. This Trader Joe’s jerky brand is distributed under the same name as Trader Joe’s, and it is located in Monrovia, California.
The next review on Trader Joe’s will focus on a 3.5 ounce/98 gram bag of their Sweet & Spicy flavored bison jerky. This flavor is described as a cut above the crowd because it’s made without any artificial ingredients and because of its terrific flavor and moist texture. The bag was purchased at a Trader Joe’s store in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
The buffalo used is guaranteed to be ethically raised, meaning not administered growth hormones or additional antibiotics. While not confirmed, the buffalo almost certainly had free range access to graze on grass, and roam about. As a result, the ingredient rating starts at an Excellent (10/10) taste rating.
The sugar level is on the high side at 6 grams of sugar per 28 grams of sugar to lose a rating. Our preference is 4 grams of sugar or less per 28 grams of jerky for a sweet & spicy flavor. The salt level is very high at 600mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky to lose a rating. Typically, the salt level is ignored when sea salt is used, but curiously both sea salt and salt are listed ingredients, and table salt is by far and away the most used based on weight.
This jerky qualifies to have no sodium nitrite or similar unhealthy preservatives. Instead, salt, sea salt, and to a lesser degree, cultured celery powder act as the main preservatives. Admirably, this jerky qualifies to have no MSG added.
TRADER JOE’S – SWEET & SPICY BUFFALO JERKY
Written by guest jerky reviewer Paul Rekker
When I open the bag I smell soy and/or vinegar, and not much else. The jerky is medium in size, and the thickness varies from medium to thick. The jerky is soft and a little moist, hence the slightly oily residue on your fingers.
When I bite into the jerky I am met with a few flavors, all relatively mild, with no particular flavor coming to the forefront. I taste salt, pepper, sweet, garlic, natural beef, and a bit of a kick. I can see the chili flakes on the jerky.
I can tell it’s not a cow, but I wouldn’t have known it was buffalo if not advertised as so.
All flavors are coming through as mild, and nothing is really jumping out at me. This jerky tastes good but could taste better. There is no “Wow!!” factor, so I am inclined to give it a 7 or 8/10, maybe closer to a 7/10 than an 8/10. Gentlemen?
Written by guest jerky reviewer Stéphane Leclerc
Trader Joe’s – Sweet & Spicy Buffalo Jerky, I was looking forward to this jerky and alas, I am pretty disappointed. Although the aroma and texture are pleasant, the taste is rather disappointing. I’ve tried as best I could to focus on the taste of the meat, and unfortunately, it is challenging to detect its mild and naturally sweet flavor. The marinade and seasoning are very light; however, the taste of the buffalo is muted and barely detectable, if at all.
Trader Joe’s – Sweet & Spicy Buffalo Jerky feels like a missed opportunity. Delicate meat like buffalo would have been better complimented with an Original or a Peppered flavor, in my own opinion.
I must rate this jerky, and it pains me to be unable to award an excellent taste rating. This should have been a slam dunk, and instead, this feels like a waste when it should have been a testament to beautiful meat.
Anyway, I completely agree with Paul, and I can’t justify anything above a 7 or 8/10, and I sway much more toward 7/10 Taste Rating.
Here is what Mark had to say about this Sweet & Spicy beef jerky flavor from Trader Joe’s: “Thanks Paul and Stéphane for the precise taste reviews. Both of you nailed this taste review. I can add that the sweetness level is more than sweet enough. Sugar, more than anything, dulls the taste of meat, in this case, Buffalo. True in that you can barely detect Buffalo’s taste, but it has a richer flavor than beef jerky.”
“I would not say that the texture is soft, but this jerky does give your teeth a good workout. As for the spicy aspect, there is hardly any spiciness present. Some chili flakes are visible, but they hardly make a dent in the flavor. As Stéphane noted, the overall taste profile is quite light tasting, and there is no ‘wow’ factor. It is a unanimous Decent (7/10) taste rating.”
This resealable professional-looking plastic bag has everything imprinted onto the bag itself, both on the front and back. On the front and back, there is an illustration of a buffalo.
There are no slogans on this bag. Some facts printed on this bag are “Natural”, “No Artificial Ingredients”, “No Added MSG”, “Minimally Processed”, “Ranch Raised”, “USDA Inspected”, “Buffalo Raised Without Added Hormones”, “Low Fat”, “Good Source of Protein”, and “Buffalo is not an Endangered Species”.
All bag categories are covered here. Commendably, a toll-free phone number is provided for customer inquiries. There is a good blurb printed on the back of the bag describing the jerky.