When I first saw the Amish Farms Black Peppered Jerky bag my mind imagined the rolling pastures of Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania. I saw buggies riding along country roads with friendly but camera-shy passengers. Having grown-up in this part of the country I spent a lot of time traveling the back-roads of Lancaster County, PA headed to the Hershey and Carlisle car shows. One of my fond memories is buying the local farm-fresh produce and meats from road-side stands operated by the local Amish farmers. I purchased this Jerky with the high hopes of finding a special small-batch delight.
The package is a clear vacuum sealed bag with a simple applied adhesive label. Inside you can see some noticeably red jerky strips with pronounced black pepper chunks on the surface of the jerky. Upon opening the bag you are greeted by a fresh beef aroma. The pieces are moist but not sticky. What I liked best about Amish Farms Jerky is the chew it is the perfect balance of jerky that is not tough to chew but gives you plenty of mouth time before breaking down. For this reason I gave Amish Farms a 5-Chew rating.
As you chew the pepper comes alive and begins to release the paprika and garlic that are part of the rub used on this Jerky. The flavor continues nicely the entire time you are chewing. This is a very good tasting Jerky and for that I rate this as jerky as a 4-Flavor. Unfortunately the sodium comes in pretty high at 510 mg per oz. the Nutrition Facts on the package reveal the use of salt, MSG and sodium nitrate. This avalanche of salt give this Jerky a 5-Sodium bomb rating. But with that said, this Jerky is also a strong value at $1.85 an ounce earning it a 4-Value rating. The only thing holding it back from greatness is the sodium score. But overall this is a 3.0 Jerky.
Unfortunately, little is known about the Amish Farms of Salem Ohio they have a Facebook page with several folks asking “how do I buy your product?” Their Facebook profile pic shows images of jerky, licorice and caramel-corn but alas the website is 404. Sales manager John Wood describes says “Amish Farms, distributes a full line of snack cakes, muffins, Danish, beef jerky, nuts and snack mixes to truck stops and C-Stores in the Michiana area.” Reading the package also give a clue that this is a private labeled offering as this jerky is”Distributed by Amish Farms”.
Someday I’d like to find the actual manufacturer of this product because its actually quite good. I imagine the beef comes from a family farm somewhere in Ohio and the chef who prepares it has a beard and a straw hat… alas we may never know… but if you spot this jerky in the truck stop on your next road trip down the I-80 go ahead and grab a bag. You won’t be disappointed.