As someone who had previously never had jerky, I’ve always found it to be such a novel concept. It was like one day the ‘he man woman haters’ of the world got together and decided that cheese and cold meats was too upper-class for ‘real men’ and that they’d take it one step further by drying the shit out of it and eating it as a snack. In reality, jerky has been around since the 1500’s, originating in South America, and was probably a logical way of preserving meat so that it didn’t spoil with the lack of refrigeration.
I recently got my hands on a sample selection of the Kooee Jerky range. A reasonably new-ish business originating from Tasmania, utilising 100% Tasmanian grass-fed beef and no artificial preservatives. But let’s face it – to me it just looks like the Smackos that I sometimes feed my dog. That being said, Declan is way more excited for Kooee Jerky than he is for his Smackos.
Of the four flavours in the range (Classic Sea Salt, Mountain Pepperberry, Smoked Chipotle and Habanero Chilli), which range from mild through to SPICY, there are two flavours that I’ll be adding to my list of hiking snacks and two that I won’t:
I grew up in one of those families that always ate home cooked meals consisting of meat and three veg night after night, and not much else. My mother, however, took it one step further and also never really put any salt, pepper or spice into our food. As a direct result, I am one of those strange people who would make the poor person at Subway remake their sub if they shook the ‘salt and pepper’ shaker over my sub when I’d explicitly said ‘just salt’. Instant cross for the Mountain Pepperberry. That being said, I have since shared my packet with my housemate (a die hard jerky lover) who finds it to be her favourite flavour.
Along the same lines is the Habanero Chilli. I’m just not that good with spice. I did have a couple of pieces, but the sharp increase in heat was too much for me to handle and I had to retire the packet. I did find that the first piece was super delicious, so it was a shame that my taste buds are just too weak to handle the heat. One of our other co-founders did however warn me that this one burns as much on the way out as it does on the way in, so consumers beware!
The Classic Sea Salt and Smoked Chipotle are right up my alley. I find the serving size to be the perfect portion (unless someone wants to share…) and like that it comes with a little zip lock to seal in freshness (although I’ve never really saved any for later!). The branding is strong and the colours of the different flavours are visually appealing. I truly do find them to be an excellent high-protein addition to my adventure snacks, and anyone who has met me knows how entertained I am by good food!
My one and only gripe with Kooee jerky (in among all of the positives) is that it solely comes in 30g servings. As someone who is constantly growing more and more of a conscience when it comes to the environment and saving our planet, the packaging, which doesn’t indicate that it is recyclable, isn’t ideal if you are a jerky addict like I think I may become. Hopefully as they grow, and their products grow, they’ll release bigger size packages that can then be split into reusable containers pre-adventure.
Lastly, I would like to thank Kooee Jerky for supporting Melbourne Girls Outside. They very selflessly sent sample packs of their full range to each of our leaders who received kits at our Leaders Award Night last month and have been incredibly supportive of everything that we endeavor to achieve. I also want to add that this review of their jerky is my honest opinion of their range – as I warned them when I offered to do the review!