It’s hard to go wrong with jerky. Jerky is the road trip staple, the hiker’s best friend, the fat kid’s secret under his pillow, and the stuff that sustains every snack junkie. Jerky is, in fact, life. Pure, meaty hunks of dried beef, seasoned to perfection are the holy grail of snacks… that is, until now. What if we told you there was a new type of jerky, made from PORK? Pork. The meat from pigs that offers us the almighty bacon, ribs, chops and roasts. We’ll give you a moment to read that again and control your anxiety.
Crooked Creek Farm Country Store has changed the jerky game. Because what could possibly make jerky better? Pork. That’s what. This company prides itself on being transparent about their ingredients. You can pronounce every ingredient on each package (if you passed third grade), so you know exactly what you’re putting in your body. Now, let’s be honest. If it doesn’t come in a crinkly wrapper and isn’t processed 5x, we will generally throw our snack pretentious noses up, grab a Twinkie, and walk away. However, this company is promising something totally different, transparency, and deliciousness in their pork jerky. We’re game. Let’s do this.
Original Pork Jerky
Jason’s take: As a jerky addict, I try all the flavors and brands I can possibly get my hands on. I even make stops at those beef jerky outlets you see billboards for along the highway. I have had my fair share of beef and pork jerky and I am honestly blown away at how good this stuff is. Tender, moist, and oh so delicious. The brown sugar gives this jerky a nice sweetness to it. A black pepper taste is picked up right away when you first eat this slightly spicy jerky. The pieces are on the smaller side to make for easier snacking.
Jeni’s take: When I feel jerky, I want it to be pliable and soft-ish, but still solid. That’s exactly what this is. The texture is absolutely AMAZING. My first taste of this blew me away. That right there is definitely pork, in jerky form. And the seasoning is spot on. It’s slighting saltier than beef jerky – which I really liked. Somehow, there’s a slight sweetness, slight tang and slight spice that is 100% delicious. I’m sold.
Original Spicy Pork Jerky
Jason’s take: To me, the this flavor tasted pretty identical to the original. With only one added ingredient — red pepper — it took me a few moments to pick up on the slight difference. Just a tiny bit of added spice. We still get that tender and flavorful enjoyment in every piece. This one had a bit more of a tang to it to balance out the tiny bit of extra heat. As a spicy foods lover, I kinda wish they went a little spicier on this flavor.
Jeni’s take: The only difference in the ingredients between the original and the spicy pork jerky is red pepper. That doesn’t mean there isn’t more of other ingredients to amp it up, though. I don’t like spicy, but this offered such a subtle kick that I ended up “tasting” 3 full pieces. This is spicy for the un-spicy fan. I could taste the flavor of the spices, without being overpowered by the heat. And the flavor of the meat was really accented by those spices. Fresh, solid pork with its unique saltiness + the combination of these spices = perfection.
Mango Habanero Pork Jerky
Jason’s take: WOAH! Jackpot! This stuff is SO ABSOLUTELY delicious. Before I dive into the flavor, I want to take a moment to talk about the scent. This jerky has a distinct fruity smell. That’s because there is actual fruit in this jerky — cherries and mango! Also listed in the ingredients is habanero (as the name suggests). First bite and you instantly pick up on the fruit elements of the jerky. It left me wondering where the habanero part was. Tastes of mango, tastes of cherry, and a bit of pineapple somehow (pineapple is not listed as an ingredient). A few seconds pass and then the rush of the habanero kicks in. They don’t skimp out on habanero here — this jerky leaves your entire mouth on fire. Just how I like it. Tender, sweet, and super spicy. This instantly is my favorite pork jerky that I have ever tried.
Jeni’s take: Take a deep breath, Jeni. Habanero. YIKES. But as I checked out the ingredients, I saw natural mango flavor, paprika, and dried cherries! It actually smells super sweet, too. Like dried fruit. I took a tiny bit (fearing that habanero). It IS sweet and absolutely delicious with mango overtones… at first. Then, the habanero kicks in and keeps kicking. Honestly, all I could taste after that settled in, was the heat and spice. My throat was on fire. For the spicy food wimp, eat the Original Spicy Pork Jerky and pass this one up. For the spicy food lover – you’ll freak out over this one!
Move over, cows. The pigs have taken over the farm. Will we pass up on beef jerky now? Hell no. Will we be eating a lot more of this little farm’s pork jerky? You know it. It’s different, delicious, and offers something new to the jerky world. If offered a pack of Crooked Creek Farm Pork Jerky and a pack of beef jerky, we’ll take both, because as much as they are the same type of food, they are totally different. Plus, if you’re a goody two shoes that wants to know what’s in the product you’re shoving in your mouth – this company’s pork jerky is your new best friend. Pork jerky, you are beautiful. Pork jerky, you make our mouths water. Pork jerky, we love you.