I recently received a sample from Think Jerky, a company that makes Chef-crafted beef or turkey jerky. The idea behind Think Jerky came when the founder, Ricky Hirsch, realized how unhealthy (especially the amount of sugar), most jerky are. He decided to make a version more healthy and delicious, reducing salt and sugar. Think Jerky prides in using grass fed beef or free range turkey, non-GMO, no antibiotics, with a serving not exceeding 100 calories.
So it was fun to do a little jerky tasting as, before coming to the US, I did not get exposure to jerky the same way. There are dry meats in Europe such as bresaola or the popular viande des grisons that is from Switzerland and is often paired with raclette. But in Europe, these are not snacks. So I was curious when Think Jerky contacted me for few reasons: first, it is made by Chefs; second, the flavors are fairly unusual. And this is what I tried:
Thanksgiving by Chef Laurent Gras:
This is a tribute from Chef Gras to his favorite American Holiday, made with turkey, herbs and cranberries. I should mention that, if you do not know Chef Laurent Gras, he received many accolades in his career, whether it was when he worked at The Waldorf Astoria or at L2O in Chicago, where he got three Michelin stars.
Sriracha Honey by Chef Gale Gand:
This was one of my favorites: I thought at first that it might be very spicy, but it is not the case. It has definitely a nice kick, well complemented by the sweetness of the honey and I love the vibrant red color. The interesting fact about Chef Gale Gand is that she is a pastry Chef!
Another recipe from Chef Gand is the Ginger and Orange jerky: contrary to the first two I tried, this one is made with beef and is inspired by East Asian cuisine. When you bite in it, you definitely get the hints of ginger, then the citrus flavor comes through as does the nuttiness added by the sesame seeds.
Below a video showing her making beef jerky:
The last flavor I tried was Sweet Chipotle by Chef Matt Troost:
This one is interesting too: it is a beef jerky made with raspberry juice, smoked chipotle pepper powder, ancho chili pepper powder, smoked paprika, black pepper and cayenne pepper. I did not taste any heat at first, but it comes at the end, complementing the sweetness of the raspberry. It is my favorite from all the flavors.
It was fun trying the different flavors that Think Jerky is proposing. I could see myself eat this as a snack as it elevates a bit what is more associated with a gas station item. I am looking forward to see if we will start seeing it in our stores and if other creative flavors will surface.
Enjoy (I did)!
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