Saturday, May 28, 2016

Think Jerky Food Review

I love jerky (bacon, beef, turkey) but the amount of sugar tucked inside each stick or wad is enough to make any sane person think twice. Wouldn't it be great if someone could make a jerky that's light on sugar, but packed with taste? Cough. There is, and it's called Think Jerky. The windy city startup offers four distinctive flavors (Ginger Orange, Sriracha Honey, Sweet Chipotle and (my favorite) Thanksgiving) in convenient 1.5 oz packets, created by a pair of Michelin-Star chefs and a Baconfest champion. Best of all, they're healthy to boot... Gluten free, non-GMO, pasture raised and free of any added antibiotics or hormones. Think healthy. Think delicious. Think Jerky.

Ginger Orange: (Beef) Love the texture; but be warned, there's a lot of ginger going on. A lot. Chef Gale Gand shows off her East Asian chops with a zesty blend of cayenne pepper, garlic, soy and ginger. The beef's grass-fed (of course) but I must admit, I had to clear my throat after two bites. Perhaps a bit more orange peel, and less pop.

Grade: C

Ginger Orange

Sriracha Honey: (Turkey) Turkey is fast becoming my favorite type of jerky, and Chef Gand's second flavor is decidedly better than Ginger Orange. It's spicy, sure; but the combination of brown cane sugar and honey balances it perfectly. As for texture, a tad hard, but the honey, spicy blend more than makes up for it.

Grade: B

Sriracha Honey

Sweet Chipotle: (Beef) I expected a bacon jerky from Chef Matt Troost, the aforementioned Baconfest champ; but he does a fine job with beef, red raspberries and four kinds of pepper (ancho chili, black, cayenne and smoked chipotle.) All that pepper sounds like too much, but it isn't. Probably because of the potent (and highly original) addition of raspberry juice concentrate. Takes the prize for best/softest texture, and a close second overall to...

Grade: B+

Thanksgiving: (Turkey) I wasn't familiar with Laurent Gras (a three-star Michelin chef) but if his jerky is any indication, he's a culinary genius. Hands down, the best jerky I've had in years (and that's saying a lot.) One bite, and you'll swear you're back at grandma's on Thanksgiving Day. Turkey, cranberries, et all. Look for smart hints of sage, paprika and cabernet vinegar... not to mention an almost moist texture (second only to Sweet Chipotle) and an after taste that begs for seconds (and thirds.) Close to perfect.

Grade: A

Interested? Try Think Jerky for yourself. Click here to purchase online (We recommend the Jerky Sampler, 8 1.5 oz bags (2 of each flavor) for $39.95 + $4.95 for flat rate shipping.)