I am a self admitted jerky snob. My family eats the stuff by the pound. Not just any fancy packaged, furry mascot bearing jerky will do either. I want and seek out quality which usually means homemade or in house made. The major factory stuff is hard for me to get behind.
Recently I was able to get my hands on a new brand from out of Colorado. Mountain America Jerky. I can’t eat just any jerky either. My daughter and I both have Celiac Disease which means we have to eat gluten free. You wouldn’t believe how much jerky is made with soy or teriyaki which are typically not gluten free. When I spoke to Mountain America about ordering I asked specifically about gluten free options and surprisingly they had several. I chose to be a little exxotic in my choices too. I’ll try any food at least once and sometimes when I like it and get the opportunity to go back, I’ll do it. This was no different. The two flavors I ordered were Elk and Buffalo. These are two flavors I am familiar with and would give me some kind of baseline for expectations.
Let’s start with the Elk.
As I opened the package I could smell the goodness. The elk meat was well hydrated and had nice cushion to the touch. A little bit of oil was present but was not supersaturating the jerky. The pieces were in manageable strips with decent thickness. You don’t need to bring your pocket knife to this party. The jerky separated easily and had a nice chew. The texture of the meat was like that of a good steak. It wasn’t sinewy or paper thin like a lot of jerky you find. It also wasn’t overly seasoned which I like. I want the elk to be the star of the show and it was. It had a very robust, well rounded flavor much like a long time smoked beef round but a touch more wild. But not in a bad way. If you could combine the goodness of a chicken breast with the succulence of a ribeye, that would be the elk jerky. At least as far as jerkys go. I haven’t had a better piece of jerky in 30+ years of eating the stuff. This is where you can get some of it as well: Mountain America Elk Jerky
On to the Buffalo.
As I opened the package of buffalo jerky it was noticeably drier. The meat seemed like it had been completely dehydrated and possibly not infused with enough moisture. I proceeded on to take a bite. This jerky had a tougher, less bouncy chew and the fibrous buffalo meat was consistent with what I had eaten in the past. The flavor was good, a bit of pepper and smoke, but a lot more work to enjoy. I haven’t had tons of buffalo jerky. I usually stick to a buffalo burger but the expectation and what I got were even. It is a tough meat and why you normally see it in ground form. It’s rare to see buffalo steak because it does have a grinding chew to it. Mountain America did everything they could to make this a better cut of meat. It’s just not for me.
Here is a list of all the meats and flavors you can get some Mountain America Jerky. I’ll be ordering some more Elk this week. My hidden stash was found and wiped out by my kids.