This weekend we visited the Stagecoach Music Festival in Indio CA with a couple bags of Pacific Gold Garlic & Crushed Black Pepper Beef Jerky by Oberto. We bought these massive bags o’ Jerky at the Costco when we were packing for our weekend trip to the RV Resort at the festival.
When you crack open this 8 oz bag you realize this is 24 oz of steak you will be re-hydrating in your stomach so don’t plan on eating it all by yourself — at least not in one sitting. Add that to the fact that you were required to buy two bags of this stuff at Costco and you’ve got a lot of meat to eat.
One of the knocks of the big production Jerky companies is their use of non-USA meat. The bag tells us the meat we are about to enjoy might be from one or all of the following locations the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Uruguay. This likely leads to the 5-Value rating because the 2 package bundle with 16 oz of meat total at $15.99 (Mar 2015) brings this in at only $1.00 an ounce which is perfect for a big group that is headed to a 3-day country music festival.
When you open the bag you will find multiple large pieces of top round that will need to be torn apart for eating. The texture of the meat is slightly tacky to the touch and the consistency of the meat ranges from mildly tender to almost un-chewable. I say ‘almost’ because if you give it some time even the toughest pieces come around but you’ve got to stay with it. When you tear off a piece and put it in your mouth and you will get a teriyaki/sweet flavor first. That is followed by a black pepper which adds a very mild heat. Unfortunately I was unable to pickup the garlic flavor as it was either very subtle or just overwhelmed by the sweet teriyaki. The flavor of this jerky was interesting because we had two bags and we had two different experiences. The jerky in the first bag was so mild I would award it a 1-Flavor rating, the flavor was almost non-existent. Several of the people I shared it with looked at me wondering what I had fed them. But to be fair, I proceeded to the second bag (anything for unbiased editorial and to eat more jerky). The second bag was much better and scored a 3-Flavor rating as the pepper flavor was much more pronounced. So… is it a 1 or 3? I decided to split the difference and give it a 2-Flavor rating. If I had tasted the garlic I would have been more generous. The pepper is mild and gives this jerky a 1-Heat rating.
As for the Chew, the pieces in the bags bordered from good to so-so. Just to remind you a “good chew” is one that doesn’t break your jaw a gives you a minute or two of mouth time to break down the meat and enjoy the flavor. A so-so chew is one that is so tender it just breaks apart and disappears or is so tough your jaw muscles ache after you finish chewing. Because of the inconsistency this jerky only gets a 2-Chew rating even though quite a few of the individual pieces were a 3 or 4.
When you look at the ingredients the second and fourth ingredients are sugar and brown sugar respectively. This is confirmed by the 6 grams of carbs per ounce printed on the Nutritional Facts on the bag. Along with the sugar the sodium is also pretty high coming in at 440 mg per ounce. Again we see the tendency of big production Jerky’s relying on high sugar and salt for flavor. Overall the rating for Pacific Gold Garlic & Crushed Black Pepper by Oberto comes in at 2.5 stars. Not great but certainly not bad and well worth the while if you have a big group who will need big snacks.