REVIEW: Slim Jim Premium Beef Jerky Tabasco Spiced

Slim Jim Tabasco Beef Jerky

I love Slim Jims. I love beef jerky. I also love Tabasco sauce. These things said, reviewing Slim Jim’s Premium Beef Jerky Tabasco Spiced was a no-brainer for me.

I’m rather finicky about my beef jerky. Growing up, my dad used to get beef jerky from the Meat Shop around the corner. Not a butcher shop, not “Big John’s Meat Shop,” just Meat Shop. Located in a dingy strip mall, sandwiched between a liquor store and a laundromat, you know Meat Shop was quality.

The beef jerky from Meat Shop was perfectly seasoned and perfectly peppered. You could chew it as long as a piece of Fruit Stripe, but it wasn’t tough or gristly. It was magical beef jerky. Then one day, Meat Shop went out of business. Even as a child, I had an old woman’s resistance to change. I remember getting unreasonably upset when the Lucky’s grocery store down the street changed into an Albertson’s. I was ten years old at the time; I didn’t even go grocery shopping. But the sign change alone was enough to send me into tantrums and tears. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but you get the point.

Ever since Meat Shop closed, I’ve been chasing the jerky dragon. Jack Link’s didn’t satisfy. Pemmican’s made me want to give their racist Injun mascot a comfy blanket infected with smallpox. Oberto’s had me saying “Oh Noes” instead of “Oh Boy!” I could go on, but I’ve already stretched the joke too thin.

It seems like anyone over the age of 17 finds it gauche to say they like Slim Jims. There’s a good reason for that – they are greasy, salty, and you can tell it’s the epitome of unhealthy food from a hundred feet away. Don’t tell that to Macho Man Randy Savage though; he’ll yell at you to snap into one until you go deaf. Mr. Savage aside, let’s be real, here: if you’re eating something that contains mechanically-separated chicken and sodium nitrite, you are either young and foolish or old and self-destructive. Guess which category I fall under.

Beef jerky is actually a little more healthy, and it’s more acceptable to eat in public, especially if you are on a road trip rolling in a 1965 Sunbeam Tiger Mk1. If there’s not at least one pouch of beef jerky and one bag of sunflower seeds bought at a truck stop convenience store during your road trip, you’re doing it wrong. Slim Jim’s beef jerky doesn’t taste like a Slim Jim, but that’s fine, as I’m sure that wasn’t their intention. Slim Jim is just the name that gets the jerky out there.

As for the Tabasco, it’s definitely prominent; even just opening up the pouch, you are hit with that familiar smell of capsaicin and vinegar. The hot sauce does indeed spice up the beef jerky, as promised in the name of the product. The spice builds up as you eat each piece, culminating in a burn coating the inside of your mouth that would be unacceptable to sissies but just hot enough to satisfy someone who douses their eggs in Tabasco. You can also strongly taste the vinegar, which I enjoyed, but I think others may not like their beef jerky having a vinegar flavor to it.

Slim Jim Beef Jerky Tabasco 2

As for the texture, it’s hit-and-miss. The smaller, thinner pieces are soft and juicy, causing a pleasant burst of saliva as you chew. The larger pieces are too tough and dry, resulting in Beef Jerky Sore Jaw Syndrome. I hate BJSJS. Unfortunately, my bag was mostly full of big pieces that broke off into jerky splinters rather than breaking down into a flavorful jerky chew.

While Slim Jim Premium Beef Jerky Tabasco Spiced delivered on the Tabasco flavor, that may be a double-edged sword, as the hot sauce’s signature burst of vinegar flavor may be a turn-off for some jerky lovers. I would actually like to see a jerky spiced with chipotle Tabasco; the chipotle version tones down the vinegar and delivers a great smoky flavor that I think would work much better with beef jerky. The small pieces were spot-on in flavor and texture, but the big pieces were dry and difficult to chew, and it’s disappointing that my bag was almost all big pieces.

If Slim Jim could refine their jerky-making process to avoid BJSJS, I’d be much more of a fan of Slim Jim Premium Beef Jerky Tabasco Spiced. As it stands, I enjoyed the flavor, but the good pieces were too few and far between. Maybe the next time I see this product, I’ll take the time to be a total jerk (hurrr) in the store and spend ten minutes trying to find a bag with more of the small pieces.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 package/51 grams) — 150 calories, 25 calories from fat, 2.5 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 810 milligrams of sodium, 10 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 7 grams of sugars, 21 grams of protein and 20% iron.)

Item: Slim Jim Premium Beef Jerky Tabasco Spiced
Price: $1.99
Size: 1.8 oz.
Purchased at: Circle K
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Strong, authentic Tabasco flavor. Road trips in cool cars. Small pieces were juicy and delicious. “Meat Shop.” Nice spicy burn. Macho Man Randy Savage.
Cons: Mostly big pieces, which were tough and dry. BJSJS. Vinegar taste may be off-putting to some. Change of any kind. Serious lack of the small, tasty pieces.

NEWS: Replenish Multi-Surface Cleaner Looks To Make Room In Your Recycling Bin For More Beer Bottles

Eco-friendly cleaner newcomer, Replenish, recently came out with their first product that provides buyers with just an empty spray bottle and a pod that contains a concentrated cleaner. The only part Replenish doesn’t provide is the water to turn that empty bottle into a full one.

It’s up to buyers to provide the water. Hopefully, not bottled water, because that would defeat the purpose. Also, hopefully, not Evian water, because that would be pretentious.

The purpose of this setup is to encourage buyers to reuse the spray bottle, which means less plastic in their recycle bins and more room for Bud Light bottles and failed bong making attempts in glass blowing class.

Each pod of concentrated cleaner is good for four full bottles. To make a full bottle, screw the pod to the empty spray bottle, turn everything upside down and squeeze the pod to get the concentrate into the reservoir in the empty spray bottle. Then add water and mix. The concentrate is 98 percent plant-based, biodegradable, non-toxic and pH neutral.

Replenish comes in three varieties: Sun Lemon, Green Tea and Fresh Lavender. A reusable bottle with a pod of concentrated cleaner costs $7.99. A replacement pod will set you back $3.99.

Replenish Website

NEWS: Tubeless Toilet Paper Could Reduce The Amount of Crappy Kids Craft Projects You Throw Away

Kimberly-Clark introduced this week Scott Naturals Tube-Free, a toilet paper roll without the inner cardboard roll.

While it’s great for the environment, if the TP technology is successful and other companies follow suit, it could equate to a drop in the number of times parents have to put on a fake smile and pretend to be proud of their child when they bring home a crappy craft project they made in school using toilet paper rolls, construction paper and glue.

The tubeless rolls are made using a “special winding process.” While the roll’s hole won’t be perfectly round, it will fit on any toilet paper spindle. But that’s just a small price to pay so that you’ll have fewer toilet paper animals, toilet paper flowers and toilet paper rockets to throw away when you have to make room for your child’s elbow macaroni art.

The Scott Naturals Tube-Free toilet paper is currently available at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores throughout the northeastern U.S.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Simply Cinnamon Corn Flakes

Kellogg's Simply Cinnamon Corn Flakes

For years, I thought Corn Flakes were made from rejected Frosted Flakes that weren’t sweet enough. I later found out that was not the case since Corn Flakes predates Frosted Flakes by about 50 years. But when I learned that, it made me wonder if Frosted Flakes were just rejected Corn Flakes that were too awesome.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, because Corn Flakes are almost flavorless, they’re the breakfast cereal equivalent of water. The cereal has been around for over 100 years, but to be honest, I’m not sure anyone has been eating them for the past 25 years. I certainly haven’t.

Whenever I go through the cereal aisle, I swear the Corn Flakes boxes are the only ones that seem as if they haven’t been touched. It looks like a Jenga puzzle that no one wants to face for fear of knocking all the other boxes down.

Ever since I became a big boy and began shopping on my own, I’ve never seen anyone purchase a box of Corn Flakes. I wouldn’t be surprised if all the boxes currently on shelves expired sometime in the late 1990s. I would find out, but that would involve me pulling a box from the shelf, which could cause all the other boxes to fall and make everyone in the aisle yell “Jenga” at me.

But someone must be purchasing boxes of Corn Flakes, either for feeding birds or so that they’ll have something cheap to donate that will allow them to say they participated in their company’s food drive.

Kellogg's Simply Cinnamon Corn Flakes 2

Maybe I’ll eat some Corn Flakes for nostalgia’s sake, or maybe I’ll just eat Simply Cinnamon Corn Flakes and say close enough. Because I can eat through a box of Simply Cinnamon Corn Flakes, but I can’t do the same with regular Corn Flakes. It would be wasting Corn Flakes, since I haven’t successfully donated an opened box of cereal to a food drive.

I do think Simply Cinnamon Corn Flakes is a tasty step up from regular Corn Flakes. However, it’s best eaten dry instead of with milk. Just like milk has the ability to tone down the effects of spicy food, it also can subdue the cereal’s cinnamon flavor.

Simply Cinnamon Corn Flakes has a modest name. It really should be christened Thank Goodness Cinnamon Makes Corn Flakes Tolerable Corn Flakes. Not all the flakes are sprinkled with cinnamon, but there’s enough to make Corn Flakes taste less like an shipping box.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup/1.1 ounces – 120 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 45 milligrams of potassium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, 20 grams of other carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein and a variety of vitamins and minerals.)

Item: Kellogg’s Simply Cinnamon Corn Flakes
Price: $4.99
Size: 12 ounces
Purchased at: Foodland
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: A tasty step up from regular Corn Flakes. Fat free. Contains vitamins and minerals. Corn Flakes are great for donating to food drives. Great when eaten dry. Doesn’t taste like an shipping box. Frosted Flakes. Buying stuff from
Cons: Regular Corn Flakes. Cinnamon flavor is subdued in milk. Not all the flakes are sprinkled with cinnamon. Does get soggy quickly. Causing a mess at the grocery store and then having “Jenga” yelled at you. Food banks not accepting opened boxes.

THE WEEK IN REVIEWS – 10/30/2010

Here are a few product reviews posted this week from other blogs we follow. If you visit them, please leave a comment that says either hello, Happy Halloween or BOO! YAH!

Just in time for the holiday that involves people dressing up is the McSandwich that’s dressed up to look like a slab of ribs. (via Grub Grade)

I wish I had a gum that helped me concentrate and improve memory in college. Actually, I wish I had a gum that helped me cheat. (via Gigi Reviews)

This gummy rat in trap should be available year-round for not only those who want to make a fake haunted house, but also those who want to make a fake Hoarders house. (via Sugar Pressure)

The only thing scary about Choc-o-Lantern Pop-Tarts is the high fructose corn syrup in it. (via Junk Food Betty)

Pepsi Mont Blanc is the fanciest sounding soda I’ve heard of since Goya’s Cola Champagne. (via Japanese Snack Reviews)

Popeye’s has a sandwich called the Po’ Boy (poor boy) and it costs four dollars. If a poor boy is buying a four dollar sandwich, I know why he’s poor. He hasn’t heard of the McDonald’s Dollar Menu. (via An Immovable Feast)

Happy Halloween!

REVIEW: Jamba All Natural Smoothies (Strawberries Wild, Razzmatazz & Mango-a-go-go)

Jamba All Natural Smoothies

I believe I have some pretty good smoothie-making skills.

Give me a blender, some fruit, a cup of soy milk, a spoonful of yogurt, a few ice cubes and a dancehall reggae beat, and I’ll create a refreshing smoothie that will make lady bits tingle. Although, I like using strawberries in my smoothies, so the tingling could also be the result of an allergic reaction.

My smoothies are so delicioso that people who taste them don’t call it a smoothie, they call it a smmm…mmm…ooooh…ooooh….th…whee. Although, again, because I use strawberries often in my smoothie recipes, some people might be saying it that way because their tongues are swollen.

It’s taken me months to develop my kick ass smoothie-making skills, so I find it upsetting that the Jamba All Natural Smoothie Kits attempt to turn any Joe Schmoe into a smoothie maestro. While they are easy to make, can the flavor of these smoothie kits make my lady bits tingle?

The Jamba All Natural Smoothie Kits come in three varieties based on classic Jamba Juice flavors:

Strawberries Wild – Strawberry and Banana with Non-Fat Yogurt
Razzmatazz – Strawberry, Raspberry and Blueberry with Non-Fat Yogurt
Mango-a-go-go – Mango and Pineapple with Non-Fat Yogurt.

Jamba All Natural Smoothies 2Unfortunately, the kits don’t come with all the ingredients found in the versions that are blended at Jamba Juice locations. For example, the Razzmatazz pouch doesn’t contain the orange sherbet that the store-blended version has and the Mango-a-go-go doesn’t come with the opportunity for me to use my porn name, Steele Rockrod, when the cashier asks for a name to go with the order.

To make a smoothie from this kit, I just blended the contents of the pouch with eight ounces of apple juice. When everything was blended, I ended up with a 16-ounce serving that provided two servings of fruit.

All three varieties had consistencies similar to real Jamba Juice smoothies, but none of them made my lady bits tingle. Strawberries Wild and Razzmatazz were decent, but with both varieties the apple juice was the dominate flavor, and having to pick out seeds between my teeth was a problem. However, neither was an issue with the Mango-a-go-go and its combination of mango and pineapple was delicioso, but, again, it too didn’t make my lady bits tingle like my own smoothies do.

If on sale, a Jamba All Natural Smoothie Kit is cheaper than a Jamba Juice smoothie made in one of their brightly colored shops. It’s also better for you because it has less sugar. However, you can probably make a cheaper, healthier and better tasting smoothie, if you have excellent smoothie making skills, like mine.

(Nutrition Facts – 1/2 pouch/8 ounces prepared – Strawberries Wild – 110 calories, 05 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 20 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, 100% vitamin C and 4% calcium. Razzmatazz – 110 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 15 milligrams of sodium, 14 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, 100% vitamin C, 4% calcium and 2% iron. Mango-a-go-go – 120 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 15 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, 1 gram of protein, 8% vitamin A, 100% vitamin C and 4% calcium.)

Item: Jamba All Natural Smoothies (Strawberries Wild, Razzmatazz & Mango-a-go-go)
Price: $3.00 (on sale)
Size: 8 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Strawberries Wild)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Razzmatazz)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Mango-a-go-go)
Pros: Easy to make. Mango-a-go-go was delicioso. Strawberries Wild and Razzmatazz were decent. Provides 100% vitamin C per serving. Provides a serving a fruit per eight ounces. Less sugar than Jamba Juice shop smoothies. My smoothie making skills.
Cons: Didn’t make my lady bits tingle. Strawberry allergies. Apple juice overpowering other flavors. Getting seeds stuck between my teeth. Not having excellent smoothie making skills.