Did you know that was a thing? I didn’t, but I’m so glad I’ve found a day to celebrate the deliciousness of dried meat. You might think I’m being sarcastic, but seriously, I love jerky… and pepperoni and salami and prosciutto and..and… if it was once alive and is now dead and cured with spices and salt, I’m in.
Ok, that was graphic. I’m sorry. (No I’m not.)
So yes, I love dried and cured meats, and when the chance to review Krave Jerky for my blog came along, I jumped at the chance. I first checked in with them to see if it was gluten free, since the majority of jerkys use some sort of soy sauce in their marinades and that’a no-go for this girl. It is! And it’s so much more. And by more, I mean less. Less sodium. Less hormones. Less of the crap.
KRAVE Jerky facts from the makers themselves:
• KRAVE Jerky does not contain any nitrates, hormones, MSG or artificial flavors & is Gluten Free.
• KRAVE Jerky is 97% fat free; lower in sodium (50-70%), cholesterol (50-70%) and calories (15-70%) than our major competitors
• KRAVE Jerky is made using unique culinary techniques such as double marinating, brining, baking and grilling to maintain our signature moist and tender texture.
They sent me four flavors to sample.
- Basil Citrus Turkey Jerky
- Lemon Garlic Turkey Jerky
- Chili Lime Beef Jerky
- Black Cherry Barbecue Pork
I dove into the Turkey Jerkys first thinking I’d “get it over with.” (The things I do for you people in the name of research!). I didn’t think I’d care for it like the beef and pork since I’ve traditionally found it dry to the point of stale, usually lacking in flavor and over compensating the lower fat choice with higher sodium.
I was wrong.
Both the Basil Citrus and Lemon Garlic have ended up being my two favorites of the four sampled. Unlike its counterparts, this jerky was moist, chewy and full of flavor. It was lower sodium that I was used to, and I didn’t find myself reaching as quickly for the water as I ate it. Before I knew it, I had devoured the whole bag post workout, but for 260 calories and almost 30g of protein, I’d say it may become a new favorite post burn snack or lunch on the go.
The Chili Lime Beef had a great heat and sweetness that I found reminicent of asian BBQ. You could actually see the garlic chili sauce cooked into the meat, and it was beyond tender. The days of risking dental work from tough, sinewy cuts of meat are over.
The Black Cherry Barbecue Pork was my least favorite of the four, but it’s relative because if I was munchy and it was around, I’d still put away the bag no problem. It’s like french fries – even a french fry on its worst day is better than no french fry. And this wasn’t bad, it was just a little sweet for my taste – I prefer the spicier, citrus-centric options that I found in the other flavors. I also don’t care for pork, so this one had my bias out of the gate. If you love pork and sweeter BBQ flavors – try it. Or come over and I’ll give you the rest of the bag (if my roommate hasn’t eaten it yet).
So where can you try this for yourself? They’re still working in to retail markets (find the closest option to you here) like Target or your local market (if you’re downtown Boston like me, you can find it at Deluca’s Market on Newbury or at Vitamin Shoppe!) but you can also order direct from their website and enjoy free shipping on 5 items or more. At $7 a bag it may be a bit steeper that what you’ve been paying at the convenience store, but trust me, it’s worth it. And if you’re hooked like me, sign up for a subscription and enjoy 15% off.
Find your closest retailer, pick up some jerky, and join the conversation using hashtags #jerkylove and #nationaljerkyday and let them know what you think. Celebrate National Jerky Day! Otherwise, tomorrow is just a Thursday.
Disclaimer: I received products from Krave Jerky for free to review for thenaturalginger.com. All opinions expressed here are my own. I’m serious though, this stuff is delicious.