Oh boy do I love getting presents! Recently my Mom, Aunt, and Grandma went on a road trip down to Monterey, CA, and being the thoughtful, wonderful people that they are, they brought me back a gift. It makes me feel so special that they think of me on their travels. And this time they surprised me with something I have never tried before…Carolina Reaper Beef Jerky from Jerkyville U.S.A!
This sounds like the best of both worlds! I love beef jerky, and of course, I really love spicy foods!
What is Jerkyville U.S.A?
Since I have never been to this heavenly sounding place called Jerkyville U.S.A., I thought I would read up on them a little, and share with you what I learned.
According to their website (jerkyvilleusa.com) it seems this store started as a bit if variety store. Then in the early 2000’s a man who sold jerky roadside, across the street, asked if they would be interested in selling his jerky in their store. They decided to give it a try, and it was a huge hit.
Since it was doing so well, they have now expanded the jerky selection and make their own varieties of jerky. This includes several kinds of spicy beef jerky, some alcohol infused jerkys (sounds interesting), and a few different types of fish jerky. There are located in beautiful Monterey, CA.
The Taste Test
My family was very excited to give me this meaty treat. They actually made me take my first bite right there and then, in front of them all, so they could see if the heat would take me down. They love me : )
It was my first experience with anything claiming to contain Carolina Reapers, so I was a bit nervous. The Carolina Reaper is the reigning champion of all hot peppers, coming in at a whopping 2.2 million Scoville Units! There is no way I would be able to down one of these peppers without it being tamed down a bit. I mean, I love spicy foods, but I have my limits.
From past experiences with foods and sauces that claim to be extremely spicy, I know it could have gone either way with this jerky. Once in a while something lives up to its claims, but many times things just aren’t as spicy as they try to make them sound.
So, with my whole family watching, I took that first bite. It had some spice, but it wasn’t anywhere near the 2 million Scoville units proclaimed on the front of the bag. Granted I was a bit of a wimp and took a pretty small bite just in case. My family were all quite disappointed when I didn’t start to meltdown in front of them. Like I said, they love me.
Since I had survived that first bite, I thought I better go in for more to really check it out. So, for my second bite, I took a much bigger mouth full to really get the full effect. I happily realized the jerky did pack a much bigger punch with my second, and bigger dose.
I admit, I have eaten hotter things in my life, but this jerky did actually end up having a pretty good kick to it. And, as with a lot of spicy foods, if you keep eating it, the heat builds up in your mouth and on your lips until you feel a pretty good burn in the end.
Heat levels aside the jerky itself had a really good flavor. It was quite enjoyable. It is on the softer, wetter side of jerky, as opposed to some dryer and tougher varieties. I like both styles of jerky, depending what mood I am in. This actually really hit the spot and was quite enjoyable.
It has a little sweetness too it, which I don’t always care for, but it isn’t overly sweet. The flavor is really quite nice. The ingredients on the label include Beef, Teriyaki Sauce, Brown Sugar, Spices (which could be anything), Carolina Reaper Flakes, Carolina Reaper Powder, garlic, onion, and sodium nitrate.
I like that the ingredients are all things I can pronounce, which isn’t always the case with prepackaged jerky. Seems that Jerkyville U.S.A takes some pride in producing good quality, natural products.
Carolina Reaper Beef Jerky?
Overall Rating: B-
Although this jerky tastes good and does have some heat to eat, I do not feel like I had a true Carolina Reaper experience by any means. I should have been panting, sweating, and drooling for sometime after if I had actually gotten a good dose of the Hottest Pepper in the World.
I am not accusing them of lying here, but I think if they are gonna post a heat index of 2 million Scoville on the front of the package, that it should have given me a pretty hardcore burn. As you can see in the photo I posted of the jerky, you can see actual pepper seeds on the jerky. Maybe the teriyaki and vinegar tamed the heat somehow.
Even though it didn’t burn my face off, it is one of the spicier beef jerkys I have eaten, and it did taste really good. Because of this, I would totally buy it again. (Well, buy it for the first time, since it was a gift) I am super glad I got to try it out, and it inspires me to try to make my own Hot Pepper Jerky. I am almost scared to make my own, because I know mine would actually be hot…yes, burn your face off hot.
Sounds, like I have given myself a challenge! I will work on it and share the results with you all for sure.
Over the years I have tasted many a jerky homemade by friends and acquaintances. Once or twice, I have encountered a truly spicy one. It has always made me want to try to make my own, but I have never just buckled down and done it. But working on this website for the past few months has really inspired me to try a lot of things on my spicy bucket list. So, keep coming back to check in and see what spicy adventures I have taken on!
I hope you enjoyed this review and found it helpful. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave me a comment below, or you can reach me through the contact form linked on the main menu at the top of the page.