Review: Trader Joe’s Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky, Happy Birthday Junk Food Gal, & My 2015 New Year’s Resolution

Junk Food Nation! Let’s do this:

1) A quick excerpt from last year:

Junk Food Nation, it’s Monday, and it is MLK Day, commemorating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.   So I have off today, because it’s a federal holiday.  On federal holidays, I move like molasses, so my apologies for the lateness of this post.

Yep, that applies equally this year. Also, I know right now the world is a politically supercharged hot bed of arguments, tensions, finger pointing, etc. Like you, I have Facebook and read and read and read and gasp and shake my head and etc. All I’d like to say is, whatever viewpoint you have on whatever issue you choose to engage in: Try not to be a dick. Let’s just talk about this sh*t. Thanks.

2) HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JUNK FOOD GAL! You’re my burrito-eater-sidekick, my chocolate-taster-extraordinaire, my junk-food-dining-plus-one. Another year in the books, with thousands of new treats ahead of us. Sharpen those taste buds.

If you want to leave the Junk Food Gal a happy birthday note, go for it in the comments below. Who knows, maybe she’ll answer any questions you have for her. Maybe not.

3) A while back, I asked for New Year’s Resolution suggestions. And after sorting through all of them and mulling through a few of my own, I’ve decided that in 2015…*drumroll please*…I WILL EAT MORE PIZZA AND DRINK ALCOHOL MORE. 

No, seriously. NO, SERIOUSLY. That is my actual resolution.

Here’s the thing – this past year was really really busy (not like this coming year won’t be, but whatever). But, for whatever reason, I really cut back on happy hours, parties, etc. Who knows why. Maybe I was becoming a recluse. Maybe there were less parties. Maybe I was trying to save money. Whatever the reason…I SLOWLY BECAME A COMPLETE LIGHTWEIGHT. I refuse to let this happen.

This isn’t my admission that I am now trying to become a functioning alcoholic. But I also don’t want to be the guy who can’t enjoy a glass of wine without swaying and drooling into my risotto at a nice Italian restaurant. So – in an intelligent manner – more wine. More beer. More cocktails. DONE. Join me.

The pizza thing? That’s even easier to explain – I LOVE PIZZA and I didn’t eat nearly enough of it this past year. I have a favorite amazing pizza place walking distance from me, and I think over the last year I ordered from them….eight times? Total? Like, less than once a month. That’s just wrong. And it wasn’t like I was just cooking steamed broccoli for my dinner the other times – I had plenty MEH dinners where I ate crappy subs, poor Chinese food, take out, fast food, boring frozen crap. NO MORE.

With a bunch of places I loved in DC closing shop over this past year, I was reminded of a piece of advice I read once: if you find a place you like, eat there, and eat there often, because you never know when it’ll disappear or go downhill in quality. AGREED. So, good pizza intake is going UP, while crappy other BS meals are going down. I’ll either be cooking the normal healthy tasty grub I like to eat, or stuffing these awesome slices down my throat. No more mediocre chicken sandwiches. IT’S OVER, JOHNNY.

Today’s junk food: Trader Joe’s Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky!!

Trader Joe's Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky

Trader Joe’s Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky: The In-Store Money Shot

WHOA NELLY. I first saw images of this Trader Joe’s Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky over on The Impulsive Buy, and then What’s Good at Trader Joe’s gave it a glowing review, so I knew I needed to try this. NEEDED. TO. TRY. THIS.

I do love beef jerky, turkey jerky, all sorts of jerky – and I do sort of consider them junk food because of all the preservatives and the fact that I tend to eat it as a meal replacement (NOT HEALTHY) – but I never realized that a semi-healthy food chain like Trader Joe’s ever had jerky in its catalog. But they do. And it looks GOOD.

Trader Joe's Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky: The Money Shot

Trader Joe’s Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky: The Money Shot

Throw this Trader Joe’s Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky on top of the other Sriracha reviews I’ve done on this blog.  The problem with Sriracha snacks – you have to get the Sriracha part juuuuuuust right. Sriracha is spicy. It’s also really sweet. The chili flavor is there, but so is the strong garlic flavor too. It’s not just HOT sauce, it’s much more.  So often, snacks just so SPICY to represent Sriracha – NOPE. WRONG.

Trader Joe's Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky

It is a little weird to me that this Trader Joe’s Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky adds another “sweet” in front of the word “Sriracha”…a bit redundant…but then I see the words BACON JERKY and it no longer matters droooooool.

Trader Joe's Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky

Trader Joe’s Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky has no added nitrates which is pretty cool. But how’s the rest of the stats?

Trader Joe's Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky

Trader Joe’s Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky is 280 calories for the whole package, and besides Sriracha it also contains soy sauce. Yummy.

Trader Joe's Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky

I opened up this package of Trader Joe’s Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky and pulled a big sticky clump of this bacon jerky out. It was definitely wet – this wasn’t any dry jerky, or even a glazed-yet-dry version of jerky. No, this jerky was definitely the type that will have you licking your fingers after you eat a piece.

The first smell of the jerky was definitely smoke – the meat had a decently smoky aroma that reminded me of a nice BBQ Sauce. As I sniffed more – I was smelling the smokiness of bacon, generally, plus the added sweetness of whatever sauce was coating the pork. No vinegar-y tang or spicy burn…yet.

Trader Joe's Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky

Popping a chunk of this Trader Joe’s Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky, however, the flavor was NOT subtle.  While the aroma was restrained, the flavor of this jerky was wonderfully bold. And it really hit ALL at once – the meaty, salty bite of smoked bacon. The SWEETness of the Sriracha. The clear garlic flavor. And then, eventually, the sharp burn of the sauce – this sauce definitely had a kick at the back end, both spicy and peppery.

Did the jerky get the Sriracha flavor right? I’d say so – while it didn’t have the immediate burn that I’m used to with Sriracha, the sweet garlic flavor was upfront and center and mixed with the bacon perfectly. Like a perfectly brushed pork belly. And when the spice kicked in, I knew that Trader Joe’s had delivered. It was interesting – almost as if TJ’s had created a delayed-release-Sriracha.

An Additional lovely note was the SOY flavor – I could definitely taste those notes peeking through, helping to tie the smoky bacon and the sweet garlic flavor together. The umami note worked to tie the Asian flavor more cohesively with the pork, to keep this from tasting just like BBQ, and make it something more.

REALLY good. 2 oz bag is sort of small for more than $5, but I’m not complaining because the product was spot on. You’ll lick your fingers gleefully, I promise.

PURCHASED AT: Trader Joe’s, Bethesda, MD

COST: $5.49

Thoughts? Please comment below or hit me up on Twitter @junkfoodguy or LIKE my Facebook Page and message me there. I also have Google+!! Let’s hang out.


Junk Food Guy

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Discuss - 13 Comments

  1. Jessica says:

    Be thankful you work on a schedule. When you’re like me with an inconsistent job schedule…there are times I can’t remember what day of the week it is! Plus working nights, I pretty much spend my entire morning sitting on my computer switching between working and social media.

  2. MP says:

    So basically it’s cold bacon? I would be tempted to pop it in the microwave & put it on a sandwich or in grilled cheese.

  3. Steve B. says:

    You let me know when you want to work on the pizza resolution. I’m always game for pizza for lunch.

  4. Marc P says:

    Lucky to be off my friend.
    Picked up some of this from TJs as well and haven’t opened it yet – was guessing it was going to be greasy as heck. As a jerky junkie, TJs does a nice job, especially the salmon.

    Darn Packers and that sweet money line!

    • junkfoodguy says:

      @MarcP: Yeah I thought this was gonna be greasy too. At first, when I put the bacon in my mouth, I thought it was ALL GREASE – quickly realized it was the sauce. Maybe it was greasy, but the saucy sauce covered a lot up.

  5. Kaitlyn says:

    well, some jerkies are “healthy,” but i wouldn’t put this in that list, lol. 10g fat per serving? most jerky is 3-4g or less, but this is obviously bacon, so it’s gonna have more fat. i’d be tempted to try it, but i don’t like spicy 🙁 however, have you ever tried the krave line of jerky (i buy it at target)? their cherry barbecue pork jerky is SO good. i’m addicted to it! they have other “unusual” flavors like sweet chipotle, chili lime, etc.

  6. Heather says:

    Happy Birthday Junk Food Gal! We’re all thankful for your hard taste-testing work and thoughtful input. 🙂

    Yes! Support your preferred pizza place. I went to my favorite spot faithfully, but it still didn’t make it through the recession. Now I’m busy trying to keep my top burrito chain open. (Come on, Qdoba! Don’t let the Chipotles get you down!)

  7. alek says:

    Happy birthday to Junk Food Gal! Maybe you could post a photo of JFG and Junk Food Gal so we can see what you look like?

    Are you stopping the turkey hill coupon giveaway? Also what is your email so I can contact you about something.

  8. Carrie says:

    OMG! Running out the door right now, straight to Trader Joe’s! I MUST HAVE THIS! ;O)

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