Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Trader Joe's Bacon Jerky

I was leafing through the pile of junk mail we get everyday, and in that mess was the March edition of the Fearless Flyer. Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer is their monthly mailing in which they highlight new and not so new items for sale at the stores. It's written in a quaint, campy, conversational tone and is fun to look through.

One of the things that makes TJ's special, are it's excellent house brand processed foods. Everyone has their favorites. Currently, some of mine are the mac-n-cheese bites (these are worthy of their own post), the mini mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches, and I'm also a fan of their Indian inspired frozen entrées, among others. They are constantly introducing new, interesting items, so the flyer is worth a look. You can pick it up at the store or sign up for it on their website.

Looking through the flyer an entry for bacon jerky caught my eye. It's complete name is Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky. Oh! Sriracha! and Bacon! I was intrigued but not immediately sold on it though, as I'm not a huge jerky fan. Most jerky's are like gnawing on shoe leather, and I just don't find it that appealing. Plus, the whole Sriracha craze is getting to be a little old, and of course "Lets put bacon in everything!" has been done to death. There are even entire websites devoted just to bacon.

We shop at TJ's about once a week, and this past week was no exception. I had forgotten about the bacon jerky, but as I was perusing the isles, there it was, hanging on the shelf staring back at me, in all of it's meaty glory. It spoke to me and visions of spicy bacon danced through my head. My palms started to sweat, and before I knew it, I was like an animal acting innately and without reason. I grabbed the bag and threw it in the cart.

Ok, so you're waiting for me to tell you how freaking delicious it is right?

Yep, it's damn tasty.

Like I said, most jerky is like shoe leather, but not this. It's tender, with luscious al dente sections of fat, but it still has that familiar jerky chew to it. It's not too spicy. It's sweet, but not cloying. It's salty and gains complexity from vinegar, black pepper, and garlic, and though it might seem obvious, it's loaded with bacon flavor too. This is bacon.

The only negative is the stuff is expensive. It's $5.49 for a 2 oz bag. And it's so good, you can nosh your way through a bag in no time. But keep your wits about you and savor every bite.

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