This evening I am going to take a break from work to discuss beef jerky. But my loves, this is no ordinary beef jerky. This is beef jerky that will fill your mouth with blistering heat and pump you with so much sodium that it will turn your shoes to sandals with a minor explosion of water retention. That’s right, tonight the good people of Slim Jim have introduced to me a new line of beef jerky that has three distinct levels of heat starting with chili and ending with habanero in what promises to be a dry meat chewing inferno of bliss. It is my pleasure to bring you “Dare”, by Slim Jim.
I have always been on the fence with beef jerky because, while it is delicious at first, it gets old quick. There’s so much salt and chewing involved that before you know it, you need to drink anything insight otherwise you’ll turn into this:.
But that’s when they get you. There isn’t a beef jerky eater alive that can quit with just a few pieces. The salt brings you back for more and before you know it, an entire one pound pack of dried cow has been ingested and your sodium intake for the year has been maxed. It’s a vicious cycle and to avoid such a fate, stick to dried bananas. Lucky for us, Slim Jim has added a bit of pain to mix things up.
There are three varieties of the Dare Slim Jims starting with “Kinda Hot Chili Pepper” then to “Freakin’ Hot Jalapeño” and finally the king daddy, “Really Freakin’ Hot Habenero”. Unfortunately the cruddy gas station from which I bought the said beef jerky only had the “Kinda” and “Really Freakin’ Hot”. To be fair, I don’t like reviewing the middle child. What could I say about it other that “hotter than but not as hot as…”. So, I will review the opposite spectrums and we will just assume jalapeño is…medium? Okay, let’s begin.
Kinda Hot Chili Pepper looks pretty benign from the green packaging and the fact that it’s only rated one chili out of three on the illustrated heat scale. But what do I know? My entire sense of what is hot and what is not is a bit skewed since I put ghost pepper sauce on crackers. Makes you wonder why I would review spicy food and who would even listen to me?
Well, I opened this green bag of chewing meat and tried a piece or…erhrm…five pieces and though it was dried to the point of wood, after ten minutes of chewing, it was really good! I was a bit surprised that the heat-sense only really presented itself after you swallowed. It’s more of a back-of-the-throat sensation than mouth or sinus sensation which I like. I wasn’t expecting anything in the way of heat but was quite surprised that this tasted so good! Now don’t get me wrong, the sodium levels and mandibular workout is intense like any dried food item with the same little packet that states “do not eat” but as far as a different and mild taste, this is a happy place.
Now we jump to the other side of the Scoville Scale and take on “Really Freakin’ Hot Habanero” and it’s bag or red. I know this will be hotter than the Chili but I hope it doesn’t go for the hot but no taste. Sometimes food can lose it’s way and forget that spices are there to complement and not kill.I forget this too. Actually the other day while at a business lunch we were at a Tai restaurant and the waiter accidentally confused my Panang Tai-heat 5 with my coworker’s Panang Tai-Heat 1. The result was fist hiccups, followed by sweating, followed by exasperation and then profuse swearing. He had to go home by 1:00. Everyone in the office thinks I now have a problem.
The first thing I noticed when I opened the bag was a smell that reminded me of doggie daycare. I know that sounds terrible but facts are facts and the oder of habanero spices on dried meat just hits the olfactory and brings up memories “Arf House: School of the Gifted”. So when you get this pack and open it, turn your head.
Another noticeable difference is the texture. The Chili Jerky is extremely brittle and dry like bacon that has been frying while the cook gets caught up in another episode of Big Brother only to be reminded when the smoke alarm brings him back to reality. This Habanero Jerky is much softer and not nearly as tough. But that’s not what makes this beef jerky sexy. It’s actually a bit spicy! My first piece I swallowed the juices a bit prematurely and had quite the episode. After a swig of beer I was right back on top and can say, while not as tasty as the milder sister, this one has a kick that will make up for the 460mg of sodium and 35mg of cholesterol.
So, overall, this was a shitty review. I had to do it because when I saw “Really Frickin’ Hot” beef jerky, I just couldn’t wait to find the middle flavor. Had I known that Chili would be such a winner, I probably would have held out. Overall between the two I have to go against my entire being and say the milder wins. Although I am fascinated by peppers that can put a grown man in the hospital when all he wanted to do was zest his burger, this time taste won out. That doesn’t mean that I won’t still fill my mouth with Habanero beef jerky and three spoonful’s of ghost pepper sauce just to say I did! I ain’t no Nancy!
I can’t believe I called beef jerky sexy.