I am a big fan of this spicy Jerky as I began the tasting I was not ready to write my thoughts down so I had to force myself to put the bag away and save some for later. Ultimately I was only able to hold out and save two pieces for this review, because i enjoyed it so much.
AJay’s comes to us from Grass Valley, CA by way of Missoula Montana. The owner Ajay tells about when he was touring with Cayenne, a Country-Rock band in the late 70’s and he came across an old-time butcher shop Missoula Montana where he had the best Jerky he had ever tasted. As his music career stalled, Ajay went back to Missoula, bought the rights to recipe and started making his own Jerky.
The Ajay’s flavor we are reviewing today is the Original Extra Hot Beef jerky and is a traditional thicker cut of beef. As you reach into the bag you are greeted by larger pieces of 100% Top Round. The pieces will need to be torn apart to be eaten in bites. The aroma from the bag hits your nose with a little smokey tone which may be from the Hickory smoke flavor that has been added. On the surface of the meat you can see both black pepper and other pepper seeds. As you chew the Jerky you will notice this is a harder Jerky, it gives you plenty of chew to savor your experience, but breaks apart nicely as you chew it down.
Like the aroma, the first flavor you taste is the Hickory smoke this is quickly followed by the juices in you mouth being released with the black pepper and garlic. Finally the heat builds up towards the end of the chew to leave your mouth with a strong heat that instinctively drives you back into the bag to eat another piece. What is it about hot food that as soon as your mouth cools you go in for another bite? Ajay’s lives up to the promise of Extra Hot.
Ajay’s is a USDA inspected Jerky and the ingredients are led by Teriyaki Sauce and Soy Sauce followed by Wine! Now Ajay doesn’t tell us what wine but my guess is a hint of chardonnay has been added. For you health-food and wheat freaks be aware Ajay has wheat in the Teriyaki and Succinic Acid is added. This adds a tart taste and is sold as a diet supplement (maybe I’ll loose weight eating Ajay’s). On the upside, this Jerky only has 2 grams of carbs per ounce so it’s not loaded with sugars.
The package has 4 oz and retails at $5.99 (Feb 2015) so its value is quite good coming in at a $1.50 an ounce. Sodium is on the high side at 480 mg which is the only thing holding this back from being a solid 4 point Jerky. Bottom line, I really enjoyed this Jerky the flavor and heat we just to my liking. I will be purchasing more of Ajay’s Jerky and will add it to my regular rotation of road-trip treats.