Thursday, February 28, 2013

I Caught the Krave! Krave Jerky Product Review

Krave Jerky Display

I received a few packages of Krave Jerky to try for the purpose of this review.  One of my friends had previously reviewed it and she recommended that I do the same.  My family LOVES jerky - we usually receive homemade jerky made from venison and prepared by daughter-in-law, Jonna, and her husband, Jerry.  Jerry is an avid deer hunter, so we get this meaty treat annually from them and try their new flavors.  I say all of this, because I do not care for the traditional packaged jerky at all - it is too dry and bland for my taste. So when it was recommended I try this product, I did so with some hesitations - as I am spoiled to homemade, highly seasoned, fresh jerky.

My package arrived and I was pleased to find some great flavor varieties.  I was most excited to see Chili-Lime and Citrus Basil (gluten-free)... at this point, my hesitation to try these packaged jerky products is dissipating.  In fact, when I look at the remaining flavors: Lemon-Garlic, Sweet Chipotle and Smoky Teriyaki, I actually start to anticipate tearing open a bag to try them out.  My family was in the room when I opened the box, so I had to start passing out the bags immediately.  While I did this, I cautioned them to not devour the whole bag right away, because I had to at least taste all of the flavors we received.  I reserved the Sweet Chipotle and Chili-Lime on my desk.

The family began nibbling and passing their bags around, while I gave another reminder to - save ME some!  I couldn't watch any longer, I opened up the Sweet Chipotle and tore off a piece and popped it in my mouth.  I shared a big ole Mmmm with everyone in the room.  This was seriously the best jerky EVER!  It was moist, unbelievably moist, and jam-packed with big flavor - I am talking melt-in-your mouth sweet, smoky heat goodness!  Now, you know kids, no matter what age, if Mom has it and likes it, then they simply MUST have it!  I am thinking NO! - get your own bag... then I remembered, I still have other flavors to explore, so I caved in and shared.  

I tried the other flavors too, really thinking that the Chili-Lime would be my special favorite out of the batches we received.  I did enjoy it very much, as well as the other three flavors.  The Sweet Chipotle was the family favorite, with the exception of my husband who most enjoyed the Smoky Teriyaki.  All were tastier and moister than any other jerky I had tried, save Jerry's homemade treats.  But... shhhh, please don't tell; the Sweet Chipotle was even better than Jerry's flavorful, freshly made venison jerky.  I feel bad stating that, so don't spread it around.  I don't believe I will ever find a jerky I enjoy more than I did the Chipotle version from Krave.  I am, however, very intrigued with another flavor profile that Krave produces: Pineapple Orange!  Oh yes, yes I am!  I didn't receive that variety or their Garlic Chili Pepper.  Those all sound very tasty and having tried the flavors I was sent, I am ready for more!

I began to wonder how they got these dried pieces of meat to be so delish and tender.  I found that Krave Jerky was created by Jon Sebastiani, a marathon runner, who formerly helped his family run the Viansa Winery in California.  Being an athlete, Jon thrived on high-protein foods and snacks.  He had been buying and consuming jerky made by a butcher in Sonoma, that had less artificial ingredients than the pre-packaged versions typically found.  

One day, while prepping for a marathon, Jon had the great idea to create his own line of jerky, a more flavorful, healthy version.  He came up with a nitrate-free, double-marinated, amazingly moist, 97 percent fat-free packages of gourmet slices of beef, pork, and turkey breast jerky that is sold today.  The company uses sliced whole meat and natural seasonings, freshly made in small batches and vacuum packed to retain that freshness and quality.

All of their meats come from the US and these meat selections include: the knuckle cut for beef, the tenderloin for pork and the breast for turkey. These select cuts are double marinated and baked to lock in moisture. The pork is even barbecued on an open flame, to increase the flavor further.  

Krave was born in 2010 and it took off running.  Krave Pure Eats currently produces eight flavors of MSG-free jerky, now sold in all Safeway brand stores including: Vons, Pavilions, Tom Thumb and Dominic’s.  It is soon to be available at Target stores, as well.  You will never find Krave products sold in convenience stores hanging on rack next to the typical flavorless, shoe leather-tough brands. It belongs on higher end shelves because this is higher end snacking!  

You can feel good about enjoying on Krave products, and even "kraving" them because they are lower in salt, cholesterol, fat and calories than other jerkies on the market.  I am so happy I found Krave and I know once you try it, you will be too!  There is a buzz going around that a new type of product will soon be launched from the Krave crew, and I have googled as much as a gal can google but have been unable to find what that product might be.  So I will be closely watching the Krave Facebook page, Twitter, and website to be in the know about the next great "Krave Kraze" to come!  I am hoping for some gourmet dried fruit or trail mixes, but I really have no clue what they have in mind for us next.  I invite you to try Krave and start enhancing your snacking experience.  If you don't yet see them in your stores, you can always order direct from their website - they even have a sample pack available for you to try!  

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