That, my friends, is the badass sensation known only as...Perky Jerky.
I'm such a newb that I cracked into one of the bags BEFORE taking a picture. Yeah, I'm not perfect but I'm pretty damn close
So what we got here as far as I'm concerned is the new leader in beef jerky. Unless you're getting something that's locally harvested and sold in the bed of Farmer John's truck then you're probably not gonna find many other jerkies out there that maintain as high a quality as this one. Let's check out the plusses here:
All Natural: Well, as my mom says, heroin is all natural so you can't always take "all natural" to mean something you can pig out on. But when you look at the list of ingredients you can actually PRONOUNCE THE WORDS with the first ingredient ingeniously being REAL SLICES OF BEEF.
Gluten Free: I actually have no idea what the hell this means but for people who can't have gluten this is good news, right?
No Nitrates: Nitrates are crap. You find a lot of them in deli meats and of course other brands of jerky stock you up on the stuff. Check Jack Link's site and you'll see sodium nitrates in the ingredients.
No MSG: Yeah, unless they're talking about Madison Square Garden I have no idea what this means. BUT ALRIGHT! NO MSG!
No Preservatives: I think nitrates are actually used in the preservation process so while redundant this reinforces the idea that there aren't any nitrate crappers in here.
Further, these are MADE IN THE USA and just in case you haven't wet the front of your pants from excitement, they also donate a portion of their profits to research and care for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Down Syndrome. What's not to like? And at $5 it's actually cheaper than whatever gargantuan amount Jack Link's is trying to sell their stuff for these days.
The jerky itself is really good. Truthfully I couldn't tell much difference between the three flavors in the picture but you definitely get the contrast of sweetness and heat with a hint of almost a fruity savoriness to it.
I had actually gotten out of the jerky thing when Jack Link's inflated their jerky prices from $5 to $7.50 in the span of two years. Yeah, beef is expensive but what's the point of spending my lunch money on a snack? Further, Jack Link's rode the shoulders of Sasquatch into the Greg's Gourmet Hall of Shame a couple years ago with the pathetic marketing ploy of a "Bonus Bag: 10% More FREE" promotion. Their goal, of course, was to make you THINK you're getting more product but when you're a smartass food blogger like me you learn to see through those things. Sure enough, the weight and portion sizes were exactly the same as their normal bag and when I contacted them for an explanation they admitted that it's just a bigger bag, nothing more. Yes, they were trying to sell a bigger bag to trick you into thinking you're getting more product. Companies do this all the time but this was so abysmally bad that it earned a front-row ticket to my equivalent of the Razzies.
Anywho, Perky Jerky: Greg's Gourmet approved. Give it a try.