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Costco Product Reviews Snacks

Costco Review: Jack Link’s Teriyaki Beef Jerky

Beef jerky is one of those things that when I was younger, I could rarely convince myself to purchase; it’s very salty, I’m going to eat the whole bag in one sitting, and it’s pretty expensive. Thankfully, I now make more money, and I can buy the jerky at Costco, so I can indulge in one of my favorite things ever; it’s still very salty, though. This week I purchased the Jack Link’s Teriyaki Beef Jerky from Costco.

Costco: Jack Links Teriyaki Beef Jerky

I bought the Jack Link’s Teriyaki Beef Jerky at my local Costco; the Costco item number is 1256995, and the cost is $12.99 Canadian dollars for a 300 gram bag. We are helpfully informed by the Nutrition Fact sheet that the serving size is 30 grams, or about 2 pieces, which brings the actual cost per serving to $1.30 or so, which is not cheap, but beef jerky is never inexpensive.

Beef jerky is mainly a North American food staple, and is widely available in convenience stores, supermarkets and gas stations, but it is gaining popularity in other parts of the world, mainly Australia, New Zealand and Germany. People with good taste, clearly!

Costco: Jack Links Teriyaki Beef Jerky Nutrition Facts

Jack Link’s Teriyaki Beef Jerky Nutrition Facts

Now, to the elephant in the room. When it comes to nutrition, beef jerky in general, and Jack Link’s Teriyaki Beef Jerky in particular, are both very good and very bad, simultaneously.

The very bad part, let’s get this out of the way, is the fact that it is extremely salty; this is unavoidable, as beef jerky relies on salt content to halt bacterial growth and remain unspoiled sometimes for months without refrigeration.

The very good news are more numerous; Jack Link’s Teriyaki Beef Jerky is a low-calorie, low-fat, high protein snack option, with low sugar to boot, despite the sweet teriyaki marinade.

Each serving contains 80 calories, a paltry 1.5 grams of fat, 11 grams of proteins and 6 grams of sugar. You can also find 25 milligrams of cholesterol and 6% of your daily iron requirement.

Because this jerky is so tasty, it’s easy to go overboard and eat a whole bunch, and with 24% of your daily salt requirement in a single serving, you can reach over 100%, or 200% very easily and without finishing the bag. Eating too much salt in such a concentrated fashion feels very weird and is quite uncomfortable, so avoid it if you can.

Jack Link’s Teriyaki Beef Jerky Ingredients

Here we see again that Costco cares, at some level, to bring us non-garbage products. Besides a whole bunch of salt, you won’t find any strange products, or unpronounceable food additives.

  • Beef
  • Brown sugar
  • Water
  • Soy sauce powder (water, wheat, soybeans, salt)
  • Sea salt
  • Salt
  • Flavors
  • Dried beef stock
  • Cultured celery extract, spices, pineapple powder, smoke

As you can see, there’s a whole bunch of salt and salty stuff in there, but as I said before, that’s unavoidable if you want to have actual jerky.

Where’s the beef? Here’s the beef! Jack Link’s Beef Jerky!

Costco: Jack Links Teriyaki Beef Jerky (detail)

When it comes to taste, flavor and texture, Jack Link’s Teriyaki Beef Jerky is everything you would expect, and more. The typical piece seems to be roughly as pictured above, about 3cm by 6-10 cm, about 3mm thick, or 1 inch by 2 inches, 3/16th think. More or less.

The taste is very Teriyaki, both sweet and salty at the same time, and once you swallow, the smoky aftertaste is quite pronounced, which is a good thing! The texture is fibrous, as is expected, but not too much. It’s easy to take a small bite, for example and cut it with your teeth without fighting or getting anything stuck in your teeth.

I am happy to recommend Jack Link’s Teriyaki to anyone looking for a healthy, low-fat treat that is also extremely tasty and fun to eat. I bought mine at Costco, but this is a popular product, and I’m sure you can find it in many places. It’s made in the USA, too, so you can buy with confidence!

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Costco Product Reviews

Costco Review: Fratelli Beretta Roasted Pork Shank

With everything that is going on in the world right now, people are definitely staying more at home, and cooking more, but that gets old sometimes. Several times a week I feel like I couldn’t be bothered to cook, and I wish I could just not be hungry. That’s pretty grim, I know, and thankfully there are some tasty alternatives out there.

Costco seems to have figured this out, and there are more ready-to-eat meals than ever available. I picked up this new thing just a few days ago, and tried it last night: Fratelli Beretta Roasted Pork Shank.

Costco: Fratelli Beretta Roasted Pork Shank

I got this gorgeous new thing at my local Costco for only $19.99, Canadian dollars, no taxes. Basically for 20 bucks you get two pork shanks, about 700 grams each. The box helpfully proclaims that ‘one shank is ideal for 2 people’ so I made the whole thing, since there are 4 of us. I made this with mashed potatoes and asparagus on the side, and there was some left over at the end.

Each shank is vacuum-sealed in its own bag, so you can chose to make only one if you want.

Costco: Fratelli Beretta Roasted Pork Shank

These come already fully cooked; you only need to heat them up, which I did in the oven. The box claims that 18 minutes at 350 degrees, uncovered, will do the trick, but I left it in there for 20 minutes, covered and it still wasn’t warm enough to my liking. The next time I make these, I will boil them in the bag, which is another cooking option, as is the microwave, but I don’t do that (I don’t even own a microwave).

Costco: Fratelli Beretta Roasted Pork Shank

Now, the Fratelli Beretta Roasted Pork Shanks don’t look huge, but I assure you that there is plenty of meat on there to satisfy even the more voracious appetites. There’s also plenty of bone, but those are pork shanks; this is to be expected and not a surprise. I just wish I could easily slurp up the marrow!

Costco: Fratelli Beretta Roasted Pork Shank

Now on to the most important stuff: appearance, taste and texture! I’ll let you judge the appearance for yourself. This is not meant to be fancy food, but that being said, nicely presented, the shanks look good, the color is good and you can see herbs and spices and the surface if you look at the previous picture.

As to taste and texture, this is where this product really shines! The meat is fall-of-bone delicious, and would have been even more so if I’d boiled the packages instead of opening and roasting them. Lesson learned. That being said, the meat was very easy to separate from the bone, and besides the actual bones, there is very little waste in terms of cartilage, tendons, fat, et cetera.

The taste was subtle and pleasant, not overpowering, just… delightful. One thing that must be said, however, was that this is an extremely salty dish.

Costco: Fratelli Beretta Roasted Pork Shank Nutrition Facts

As you can see with the Fratelli Beretta Roasted Pork Shank nutrition facts sheet, there is a stunning 35% of the daily recommended sodium in just 100 grams of this delicious stuff. That’s a lot, and if you eat half a shank, then you’ve definitely had at least 2 servings. I’m guessing the bone probably weighs around 250 grams, leaving a total of 5 servings per shank.

When it comes to the rest, these are actually not bad for a prepared meal. You get 11% of your daily fat, 15% of daily trans Fat, 26 grams of proteins and non-negligible amounts of Potassium and Iron. Oh yeah, and 80mg of Cholesterol.

Honestly, nobody buys products like this and expects something truly healthy; I’m happy when it’s not actually bad, and when I recognize all the ingredients without investing years of my life in a PhD in Chemistry.

Speaking of which, here are the ingredients that go into these delicious Fratelli Beretta Roasted Pork Shanks. It’s a blessedly short list:

  • Pork
  • Salt
  • Sugar (Dextrose)
  • Marsala wine
  • Natural flavoring
  • Spices

There is nothing weird or unpronounceable here, no unholy conservation agents or anything of the sort, so these roasted pork shanks go even higher on my list.

There is just one negative point, and its a personal one, but it’ll give you something to think about: my wife couldn’t finish her plate, as she claimed the meat was too salty. As I said, a personal point, she’s sensitive to excess salt but usually not to that extent, and has been known to polish off a bag of chips in one sitting, so make of it what you will.

In conclusion, the Fratelli Beretta Roasted Pork Shank, available at Costco for $19.99 Canadian dollars, are a fantastic deal for a quick weekday meal, and presented properly, could be offered to guests. The meat is tender, juicy and tasty, and the value proposition spectacular. Just mind the salt.

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Costco Product Reviews

Costco Review: D’Amico Spicy Eggplant Strips

Now, I’m a guy that likes to eat just about anything. The sole exception to that are eggplants and everything in that category of vegetables, such as squash, pumpkin, et cetera. Of course, it’s only so that when people ask me what I don’t like, I have something to say, because I actually don’t mind eggplants, if they’re prepared properly.

Strangely enough, people in general will not believe you when you say you like – or even love – everything. But with every rule come the exceptions, and for me, those are Spicy Marinated Eggplant Strips. Costco has been out of this product for years, but I’m happy to report that they are making a comeback! I bought the D’Amico Spicy Eggplant Strips from Costco yesterday, and what a deal!

Costco D'Amico Spicy Eggplant Strips in Seasoned Oil Product Review

Because I was in so much of a rush to taste these things – years, I’ve been waiting! – I actually ripped off the packaging as soon as I got home, so you don’t see that there is supposed to be 2 jars in the same heat-shrunk package. For the price of $9.99 – no taxes in Canada – you get 2 jars liked the one pictured above, a total of 2 liters of eggplant goodness. This comes out to about 50 cents per 100 grams, which is a fantastic deal. 100 grams of spicy eggplant strips is a lot to put on a sandwich, or even several sandwiches.

Costco D'Amico Spicy Eggplant Strips in Seasoned Oil Product Review

D’Amico Spicy Eggplant Strips Ingredients

Here are the ingredients that go into those delicious eggplant strips, in order of appearance:

  • Eggplants
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Peppers
  • Wine vinegar
  • Salt
  • Herbs, Hot chili peppers, Flavors (my favorite), Citric acid, Ascorbic acid

The good news here is that there is really nothing wrong with this list, nothing bad or anything. Of course when you drill down to the nutritional information and facts, this can change a little bit.

Costco D'Amico Spicy Eggplant Strips in Seasoned Oil Nutrition Facts


As you cann see from the image here, these eggplant strips are actually food for you, at first glance. No sugar, very little fat, and only some ‘excessive’ salt to throw a wrench in the whole affair.

We are also told that there are but 30 calories per 30 gram serving. Interestingly, we are also told elsewhere on the package, that these must be eaten ‘drained’.

An interesting theory, for sure, but it’s a bit rich to assume that I’m not eating those straight out of the jar. Which I am. If they are not drained, I can certainly assure you that there are way more calories than 30 per serving, and way more fat than the beautifully low numbers listed above.

That being said, I don’t really care. The oil is nice and spicy, and gives a velvety smooth texture to the natural springiness of the eggplants. I don’t mind the extra calories, no matter how many. This stuff is awesome.

In Conclusion: D’Amico Spicy Eggplant Strips from Costco

These eggplants are fantastic to add in pasta, or simply on a nice sandwich. The texture is just springy enough, the oil makes it velvety-smooth, even if you drain then, and they are just spicy enough, won’t burn your mouth but they’ll give a nice little kick to whatever you’re having. Despite their 12% of salt per serving, they don’t taste too salty and won’t overpower anything, but bring out the best in whatever you’re serving them with. At only $9.99 Canadian dollars for 2 jars, or $5 a jar, you can’t really go wrong. They are made in Italy by D’Amico and contain wholesome ingredients, although this is not certified organic or vegan. According to this recipe, you can make your own, but that seems like a process, especially if these are so affordable with your Costco membership.

What do you put these guys on? Let me know in the comments, and please share recipe ideas. I’ve got 2 jars of this stuff to go through!

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