I’ve grown up enjoying beef jerky. It was frequently a snack for road trips, we would often take it on camping trips, and once a year my granddad would make a homemade batch. The different flavors and textures have always been a delight to try and compare. Imagine my surprise when I was offered a chance to review some meatless jerky (which I never even knew existed).
I was contacted by a representative of Primal Spirit Foods with a chance to sample their Primal Strips, Meatless Vegan Jerky. They were kind enough to send two strips of each flavor so that I could have friends and family help me taste them.
About the Jerky
It is made from either soy, seitan, or shiitake mushroom.
All natural, non-GMO, no cholesterol, no preservatives, no artificial colors.
Vegan / Kosher
I enjoyed the fact that there are relatively few ingredients in each of the flavors. In many cases, I am even able to recognize them!
(This is the order in which I tried the Primal Strips, what they’re made of, and what I thought about them.)
Mesquite Lime – Seitan – This is not dry like beef jerkey, after holding the food in my fingers it left a residue. This might be a drawback on the trail, having “dirty” wrappers to carry. I find its texture to be more like pulled pork than dried jerkey, it’s not quite as chewy as jerkey. My wife likes this softer texture, since she finds “regular” jerky too chewy. I prefer chewing on jerky for awhile, so I like the tougher texture. Over-all, we liked this flavoring.
Hickory Smoked – Soy – Gluten Free – I tried this jerky with my sister-in-law, who also loves jerky. Like the Mesquite Lime, the texture is more like pulled pork, and is quite moist. We both enjoyed the flavor and would eat it again. This is probably my favorite flavor.
Teriyaki – Seitan – This one I tried with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. The texture is the same as the above two. None of the three of us liked the after-taste that this left.
Texas BBQ – Soy – Gluten Free – Tried this after a meal (probably shouldn’t test this right after a steak dinner) with my family: my wife, Mom, her husband, my sister, g-mom, and g-dad. Being jerky lovers, we didn’t care much for the texture (same as above) and weren’t fans of the flavoring. Since we had opened both packs, we fed the leftovers to the dog, who didn’t hesitate to eat it.
Hot & Spicy – Shiitake Mushrooms – I thought that this would be perfect for my brother-in-law, who loves spicy foods. However, he’s allergic to mushrooms, so he was unable to test it. I was able to test this with a friend, who was not quite a fan of the flavoring. As for the spiciness, she would be able to eat it one-half at a session.
This would have to be my third favorite, flavor-wise. In regard to spiciness, I thought that it had just enough spice to be worth eating, but not so much as it was painful for my tongue. It has a drier texture, more like a slim-jim, so I enjoyed this more. I also liked that it didn’t leave as much of a residue on my fingers after eating it. I think that this would make a great addition to a meal once it was chopped into smaller pieces. As such, it would be a great food take backpacking.
Thai Peanut – Seitan – I tried this with my wife and our friend. This had a similar texture to all of the others (except the Hot & Spicy), and left a bit of flavor on one’s fingers. I liked this one fairly well, while my friend didn’t care for it. My wife didn’t like it at all, claiming it to possibly be her least favorite.
I’ve read a couple of reviews for these guys and there seem to be mixed feelings. Vegetarians and vegans seem to love them and meat-eaters can’t stand them. I’m right in the middle. There are a couple whose flavor I enjoyed, and a couple more that I couldn’t tolerate. My wife and I first tasted the Mesquite Lime and greatly enjoyed it. We’ll definitely be taking it, the Hickory Smoked, and the Hot & Spicy on the trail with us. The rest, I won’t be eating again.
What You Should Do
My review might be mixed (some I love, some I don’t), but my tastes aren’t the same as yours. I quickly noticed that as I shared them with my friends. Some of the ones that I liked, no one else did. Some of the ones that I couldn’t stand others raved about. Primal Strips are certainly worth trying for yourself. It’s not beef jerky, so don’t try to compare them directly. Try and enjoy them for what they are, a treat unto themselves!