Momma Told Me: Heaven In A Bag: Golden Island Artisan Jerky w/ Giveaway~ 5/22

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Heaven In A Bag: Golden Island Artisan Jerky w/ Giveaway~ 5/22

***I was sent product samples for the purpose of this editorial. No further compensation was provided. All images and opinions contained there in are original content property of Momma Told Me Blog 2013.
 Momma Told Me: Don't just 'eat' food, savor it!

You could say the obsession for candied meat, aka jerky, is in my blood. Just 2 weeks back I found myself sitting beneath the misters of my grandfather's backyard cabana eying the slow smoked pork kabobs on his grill. Congressman House, as he's known  in his hometown, is secretly a gourmet home chef. Playing with flavors and pioneering gastronomy techniques is more than a fanciful pastime for him. In high school I took his 23 ingredient recipe for Peanut Satay to my home economics class, for my final. Speechless would adequately describe the reaction of staff and students. But back to the humble family gathering; in between wines over the taunting aromas, my cousin let it slip my grandfather had recently reformulated his 'secret' jerky recipe. In a 5 day process he would rub, marinate, and slow smoke beef and pork to a perfection that literally caused riots among the family living close by. In any case, it's no wonder Momma inherited this culinary curiosity, and I was raised among dehydrators and meat slicers, with the finest cuts of cured meat.
I am a jerky snob, and for years I maintained that no bagged jerky held a flame to the fresh from the tray, soft and thin sliced, meat Momma used to curate. Then, late last year I discovered a brand that seemed promising, and I was instantly hooked. Unlike most big brand jerky names this smaller, local, company offered soft and tender slices of, literally, candied meat. I bought several bags a week (at $7+ a piece), and craved the stuff morning, noon, and night. To me, this particular jerky was better than any candy, sweet, or temptation I'd ever known. Then they made a rookie mistake. This company began taking the words of a few, Facebook fans, to heart. They changed their entire product, putting countless 'renditions' into production. The ingredients label on the packaging never reflected the current ingredients used, and the product was hardly tolerable in texture and flavor, which changed radically. I was forced to take notes about expiration dates in an attempt to pinpoint the 'best' lot, but nothing by that brand ever came close to those first cherished bags again.
golden island jerky
Why do I spend my time telling you this? Well, surely you have fallen in love with a product, shade, or brand only to discover it's been discontinued or irrevocably altered. Companies often guise this as 'for the better,' or to move towards change (health is usually cited). But the simple fact is product tinkering should be done on the back end, in small focus groups, and with highly controlled taste testing- not subjected widespread to loyal consumers and fans of the original product. For months I have been, quite literally, torn up; jerky-less. And then I discovered the promised land. Golden Island, natural small batch, jerky is the holy grail of shelf stable artisan meat. With a 50 year commitment to the finest flavor cultivation and two revolutionary methods of processing, kettle cooked and flame grilled, the texture and flavors are unrivaled. Being the snob that I am, I could tell simply from peering through the tantalizing pouch windows, I was in for a treat at first bite.
korean bbq jerky
First, let's discuss the two unique cooking processes; Flame Grilled, which ensures the flavor is slowly cooked into the jerky (often the pork varieties). Then there is the original Kettle Cookes process, incredibly time consuming, and the secret behind the impressively moist and tender beef varieties. You won't find boring old jerky flavors here, everything about Golden Island is gourmet, and it's quite the task to choose just one flavor to start with. There's Hickory Black Pepper, Chili Lime, and Mandarin Orange Beef flavors in their original round-up. For the Original Pork selections; Korean BBQ, Grilled BBQ, and Teriyaki. But the flavor doesn't stop there, consider the Artisan collection Five Spice, Kung Pao, and Spicy Curry to really tempt your taste buds! The presentation and packaging is also well done with inviting bright graphics, easy to read flavor notes, and a convenient spice scale for applicable flavors. Additionally, all varieties are preservative free, low fat, and made with all natural ingredients.
kettle cooked jerky
I used to only know Beef Jerky; until a delightful foray into Buffalo Jerky a few years back; still I was clueless to alternative meats, like Pork. If you've never tried a Pork jerky before, consider it very much like candied bacon, moist, slightly sticky, and additively sweet. It's hard to go back to traditional jerky after an encounter with Golden Island's slighty sweet and tangy Korean BBQ Pork Jerky. I don't like to play favorites, but this would have to be the brightest star, among a full sky, for me. A little chili Powder, Korean Spices, Gluten Free Soy Sauce, and garlic make this melt-in-your mouth treat something worth fighting over. I wanted to gripe a little about how the 3oz bags seem so 'small' and go so fast- but the simple truth is I could probably eat a case of Golden Island jerky in one sitting if it were available, so the packaging remains my only tool for portioning right now!
Golden Island gourmet jerky
The Kettle Cooked Hickory Black Pepper is a perfect example of why the brand kettle cooks their meat; generously thick, yet crumbling, slices of gourmet beef infused with flavor. There's even a kick of smokey flavor at the end that simply lingers on the palette like an artisan smoked meat. Kettle Cooked Chili Lime Beef jerky is visibly flavorful, with bits of pepper stuck to the soft sheets of dried meat. Having just endured intense oral surgery I am happy to report my delicate jaw can easily process any of these fine flavors; they're simply that moist! Perhaps one of the things I love most is the depth of each flavor, which goes far beyond 'orange' or 'teriyaki' to include culinary after-notes of spices and flavor that continuously surprise my palette with each bite. Unfortunately, for now, I will have to order online, because the closest vending location is about an hour away. I'd love to see Golden Island expand their market and offer a monthly jerky club program. I'd be happy to have a box of these divine flavors on my doorstep each month!

What Daughter Says: There may be some bartering of Golden Island for a back rub, but I'm otherwise not letting this culinary find out of my sight!





One Momma Told Me reader will have the treat of winning an Original Flavor sampler of Golden Island Jerky (just as shown above!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

48 comments:

  1. My husband is the jerky eater in our household. He likes to make his own.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would like to try the Korean BBQ

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have a huge weakness for peppered jerky! I would definitely want to try at one first.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'd like either the Hickory Pepper, or the Mandarin Orange Beef...or the Teryaki. Yum!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would most like to try the hickory black pepper and the grilled barbecue.

    ReplyDelete
  6. mm the flammed grill jerky looks delicious its been to long since i had some jerky must get some now

    ReplyDelete
  7. That Chili Lime jerky sounds amazing.
    Gigi(rafflecopter)

    ReplyDelete
  8. The Spice Curry Beef Jerky sounds amazing! I would LOVE to try it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'd like to try the Teriyaki
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  10. The Hickory Black Pepper! YUM!

    jandplee at att dot net

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'd like to try the Korean Barbeque

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'd like to try the Korean Barbeque

    ReplyDelete
  13. Chili lime sounds interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Korean Barbeque sounds fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  15. My hubby says he would love the Korean BBQ. He LOVES jerky so I am sure that any of them would not last long in my house.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I would like to try chili lime.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Mandarin Orange Beef would be yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Korean BBQ Pork Jerky sounds awesome!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I would love to try the Chili Lime

    (d schmidt in widget)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'd most like to try the Korean BBQ jerky. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Flamed grilled teriyaki sounds good

    ReplyDelete
  22. I would like to try the Chili Lime flavor.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I would like to try the Grilled Barbecue or the Mandarin Orange
    alsmalu at Hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. I would love to try the teriyaki

    Rafflecopter name is Ashley turicik

    ReplyDelete
  25. grilled BBQ instantly made my mouth all hungry

    ReplyDelete
  26. Teriyaki sounds yummy!
    Georgiana

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'd like to try the Chili Lime.
    jtmagmom73(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  28. I would love to try Korean Barbeque Golden Island Jerky, sounds tasty to me, glad it is a sampler pack would get to try some of the other wonderful sounding flavors like Chili Lime, Teriyaki YUMMY

    ReplyDelete
  29. The Kung Pao Beef Jerky (Epicurean Flavors) - sounds spicy! YUM
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

    ReplyDelete
  30. I don't eat meat, but my sister would like the Hickory Black pepper

    ReplyDelete
  31. Im curious about the Mandarin Orange -I bet it tastes delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Teriyaki pork!!!!!!!!!!!! yum. chefl@swbell.net

    ReplyDelete
  33. I'd like to try the Hickory Black Pepper Beef Jerky. Thanks.
    partymix25(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'd like to try Korean Barbecue.



    Desiree Dunbar
    desireedunbar@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. would love to try their Teriyaki flavor

    ReplyDelete
  36. I would like to try the Hickory Black Pepper, yummmm.

    ReplyDelete
  37. The Korean BBQ Pork sounds great!

    ReplyDelete
  38. I want to try the Chili Lime

    Thanks for the tasty giveaway!

    ReplyDelete