So you’re out in the woods, getting your nature walk on, maybe on your way to the fishin’ hole, or back from a covert underground chainsaw carving competition, when hunger strikes. You reach into the pocket of your bear-scratch riddled Carhartt jacket for something to silence the ferocious growling of your mighty stomach. What do you pull from the depths? Granola? Hardly, dolphin hugger. Power Bar? No way, Lance Armstrong. Beef jerky? Maybe once upon a time, back when the world was in black and white. No! You draw from your pocket, like Excalibur drawn forth from its scabbard, a mighty strip of Bacon Jerky!
So the mad meat candy geniuses over at Bacon Freak have taken one of the most manly dehydrated meat snacks and pushed it to the next level. I had the good fortune to get a pouch of the peppered flavor and one of the Summer Tomato BLT and I am here to report my findings.
Unboxing: So the 2 ounce package offers up 6-7 thick slices of bacon. The slices were nice and thick and clearly cut from proper slabs of bacon, not some flimsy machine-shaped hunk of lop-grade pig. Bacon is not as lean as beef so I immediately noticed that the slices did have a bit of a greasy feel to them. I would suggest keeping some napkins on hand.
Consuming: So I tried the Peppered flavor first. The first bite was interesting. The consistency was not what I was expecting. It’s much softer than beef jerky. No gnawing or tearing required. You can just bite it right off with your front teeth. No need to worry about jaw fatigue whilst working your way through a bag of this stuff. I’d almost describe the mouth feel as a little bit mealy. It’s hard to explain but you definitely cock an eyebrow. Not a bad thing, just different. I chose to tear hunks off for some co-workers and I noticed that, as with bacon prepared almost any other way, the fat wants to separate from the meat. More on that later.
The cure on the bacon must be very light because the flavor seems to primarily come from the pepper rub (which is very heavy and comes off on your hands in quantity; another reason to keep those napkins handy). The flavor was a little non-descript and less salty than I was expecting. You can taste the pepper but overall it was a bit bland in my opinion. Also, you want to make sure that you get meat and fat in the same bite. As mentioned before the meat and fat like to separate. I ate the meat first and then followed up with the fat. Not so great. While the meat has a nice mild flavor, the fat, while rich, tastes like, well, fat. Get it all in one bite and you’re good to go.
Next up, the Summer Tomato BLT. Wowzers. This stuff was an onslaught of flavor. It was sweet and tangy with some interesting seasonings and had clearly been glazed so the flavor was more uniform and the meat/fat separation was a non-issue. While people were hot and cold on the peppered flavor, the BLT was a unanimous hit.
So, the next time you’re stocking up the ol’ cooler for a trip out into the wilds, leave the gorp at home and order up a couple bags of bacon jerky to fuel both yourself and your sense of adventure.