Have you ever bought something because it intrigued you so much, but kind of creeped you out and you were scared to try it? Maybe if someone dared me – that would be my excuse. Well, I bought a pack of vegan jerky. Yes, you read that right – VEGAN jerky. I didn’t even know there was such a thing! Now I’ve had the occasional beef jerky, buffalo chicken jerky and even venison from friends, but could a vegan jerky be made with the same texture? That is the #1 thing that I’m suspect about – not that I’m fond of jerky texture or taste even when I did eat meat. There’s only one way to know – we are triple-dog-daring ourselves to try it!
Let’s talk about the product itself. I opted for a brand that had pretty decent reviews already – Louisville Vegan Jerky Co. It does come in a variety of flavors – Smokey Carolina BBQ, Siracha Maple, Smoked Black Pepper, and Smoked Chipotle. My personal preference for BBQ is Carolina style with lots of vinegar and mustard so naturally that’s the flavor I chose to experiment with in this review. In reading the history on the creation of vegan jerky, it appears that it was a mistake (a delicious one they claim) when the creator over cooked his tofu in the oven. The positives are that the bag is a great source of on-the-go plant protein, only 80 calories per serving, non-gmo, gluten free, and they are still made in small batches with lots of care.
So what does it really taste like? Can soy really taste like beef? For this review, I had to include my husband who regularly eats jerky since he’s on the road traveling a lot for work. I haven’t had any in probably 3 years or so. First off, the storage is a little different. The product has to be refrigerated after opened, but the package is small so you’d probably eat it in a sitting anyway if you were in a snacky mood. The jerky isn’t as dry as the traditional counterpart and the evidence of the bold seasoning is left behind on your fingers. The seasoning was very flavorful and I loved the punch of the vinegar/mustard combo. My husband felt the texture was pretty close to the traditional, but wasn’t crazy about the flavor. Maybe a spicier variety would have suited him a little better. Overall, I think I would purchase this again especially to try other varieties.
Omnivore Rating: 6/10 ~ Wannabe Vegan: 8/10