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 and 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 4 ounce/113 gram bag of their Original flavored beef jerky. This flavor is described as a cut above the crowd because it’s made without artificial ingredients and because of its terrific flavor and moist texture. The bag was purchased at a Trader Joe’s store in Niagara Falls, New York.
This 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 consists of only water.
The sugar level is outlandishly high at 11 grams of sugar per 28 grams of sugar to lose a rating. Our preference is 3 grams of sugar or less per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is quite high at 580mg 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. Our preference is 350mg of salt or less per 28 grams of jerky.
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 – ORIGINAL BEEF JERKY
Written by guest jerky reviewer Paul Rekker
When I open the bag I smell very little, possibly a bit of natural beef, nothing really else. The pieces are medium in size and are sliced thin to medium in thickness. The jerky is soft and very easy to chew, unlike what our forefathers intended. There is no oily residue handling these jerky strips.
When I bite into the first piece of jerky I am met with salt, at a decent level. The sweetness is too intense for my liking, making the jerky taste more like a teriyaki flavor than an original flavor. I don’t pick up on much else, except maybe a very slight garlic buried mainly in the background and drowned out by the overkill from the sweet.
Decent is the only (not to mention most accurate) description I can come up with for this flavor, which by definition equals a 7/10, which sums up my impression of this flavor of jerky.
Zero “Wow” factor, too sweet and not rigid enough, three negatives, which brings us back to the 7/10 rating, which I feel best rates this particular flavor of jerky. Gentlemen?
Written by guest jerky reviewer Stéphane Leclerc
Trader Joe’s Natural – Original Beef Jerky – I’ve had a few bites, and I find it feels more like a Teriyaki flavor than Original. The aroma is fine, the texture is very tender, and they are unremarkable. The jerky tastes good, and there is a good amount of saltiness without going overboard. The sweetness is somewhat problematic, as it is too sweet for an Original, and it would likely be fine as a Teriyaki. However, to each their own, it likely wouldn’t be much of an issue to most people.
I was not overly thrilled with this Trader Joe’s Natural – Beef Jerky – Original. It was fine but not great. I did enjoy the garlicky kick, it really helps, and I’d rate this jerky 8/10 Taste Rating.
Here is what Mark had to say about this Original beef jerky flavor from Trader Joe’s: “Thanks Paul and Stéphane for the candid taste reviews. I more or less agree with both of you, but I will be the most critical. Firstly, the sweetness is too high for an original flavor, where it is agreed that this flavor is more reminiscent of a teriyaki flavor. My biggest pet peeve is that the beef has a processed flavor, whereas the beef has a large private labeler type of flavor. It’s not overly processed tasting but noticeable nonetheless. The garlic and onion levels are solid on the plus side, giving this jerky some raison d’etre for wanting more.”
“I would not term this jerky as soft and tender, but certainly not tough and dry. Trying an original flavor that is absent of any soy flavor is refreshing. While the excessive sweetness is annoying, I would not describe the sweetness as overwhelming or drowning. With Paul at a 7 rating, Stéphane at an 8 rating, and myself at a 6 rating, a Decent (7/10) taste rating will be awarded.”
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 cow by a fence, tree, and house.
There are no slogans on this bag. Some facts printed on this bag are “Natural”, “No Artificial Ingredients”, “No Added MSG”, “Minimally Processed”, “Low Fat”, “Good Source of Protein”, “Naturally Smoked”, and “No Added Nitrites or Nitrates”.
All bag categories are covered here. There is a good blurb printed on the back of the bag describing the jerky.