Total Fat: 2.5g / Total Carbs: 0g / Protein: 16g
Good with: Scrambled eggs
Other Flavors: Carne Seca Limon, Carne Seca Limon con Chile, Original, Hot & Spicy, Teriyaki, Garlic Ginger, Orange Honey Teriyaki, Sriracha, Sweet Chili Habanero
Why We Love It: With the recent craze in high-protein foods and snacks, beef jerky seems to be everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, I love beef jerky for the same reason that many people love it – it’s a filling, (most of the time) flavorful and high protein snack. But I have to admit, it gets old. And many commercial jerkies out there are filled with sugar and soy sauce, which contains wheat, making it a no-go for gluten-free folks like myself. That’s why I was so delightfully surprised when People’s Choice Jerky, based right here in my hometown of Los Angeles, reached out and sent me their Health Nut Jerky Box. Everything in the box was gluten-free, and they had a variety of flavors that didn’t just taste like sweet soy sauce (OMG their sriracha jerky really tasted like sriracha, it wasn’t just a hint of spice). I was especially delighted to find this Machaca in the box. Finally, a way to eat jerky without having tear it apart with my teeth! Machaca is dried shredded meat, originally from Mexico, and is often served in tacos, with tortillas, or on top of eggs. Funnily enough, as soon as I saw the package, I got an immediate flashback to my childhood, when I used to eat dried “pork sung”, shredded pork that’s been loaded with soy sauce and sugar, which we usually ate on top of rice for breakfast. This machaca tasted pretty different. It wasn’t sweet at all and not even too salty, instead the meat had a smokey meaty flavor to it that was subtle enough that it complemented my eggs instead of overtaking them. And I love that when I want to add just a bit more protein to a dish, I can just sprinkle some on!
One word of warning to all you jerky eaters: although the jerkies I tasted by People’s Choice were super flavorful, except for the machaca, they tended to be on the tougher side in terms of texture, so it was a bit of a mouth workout to eat them. So if you like easy-to-chew soft jerkies, this may not be for you. But if you’re really after bold flavors, especially spicy ones, this jerky is for you.
Meet the Makers: Based in Los Angeles, CA, People’s Choice Jerky was founded as People’s Old Market in 1929 by John Bianchetti as a neighborhood meat shop. Today, John’s grandson and his son still run the business and specialize in handmade beef jerkies with bold flavors and simple ingredients. People’s Choice has 4 different lines of jerky products that vary in flavor and ingredient profiles. They also offer boxes that aggregate different flavor and health themes, for example the “some like it hot” box and the “health nut” box that we received. www.peopleschoicebeefjerky.com
Fun Fact: Their Carne Seca line, which the Machaca is a part of, is inspired by the by the diverse culinary tradition of Downtown Los Angeles – bold flavors, fresh ingredients and simple techniques.