Hmm, foot long sticks of vegan “meat” snacks. Interesting. As professed in my first Primal Strips review, fake meat has never been of interest to me. Yet, with the great success I had in the Strips trial, the sticks somehow deserved a shot. To their instant disadvantage, I would always choose jerky over a pepperoni stick. But really, what did I have to lose?
The same challenging packaging egged on my frustration. Luckily, I had some scissors handy, which were able to easily penetrate the thick plastic. With an appearance not too far off from a Slim Jim, the “meatless” concept disappeared from my mind momentarily. Though they came in two flavors, the overall experience was similar in both. They broke apart a bit easier than a normal pepperoni stick, and though chewy and “meaty,” it wasn’t a major grind. My teeth were thankful. Both had a very light caramelized coating that could be just a bit sticky, though much tidier than the strips. Beyond this, I was pleased to find that these sticks were not the least bit greasy, one of my biggest turn-offs from meat pepperoni sticks. As for the flavor….
The initial small amount of caramelized sweetness on the outside wasn’t authentic in my opinion. Granted, sugar is almost always welcomed by my taste buds, but it still didn’t strike me as authentic. From there I could definitely taste the pepperoni flavor that was followed by some gentle and tasty heat. Nonetheless, the flavor was milder than a meat-based pepperoni snack.
This variety had a very light smoky flavor. Luckily, they used a light hand with the hickory flavoring. It had just a bit of spicy heat as an aftertaste. Yet, aside from the spice, it was mild. Overall it was pleasant, not a “wow,” but good.
The Verdict: I am still more of a Strips fan, but this snack isn’t bad. It would do in a pinch, and when I need some extra protein. I could see this product helping with that meatless transition to a vegetarian / vegan diet. As someone who still consumes meat on occasion, I wouldn’t have a problem swapping these products in for a meat snack.
My Extra Notes & Tips:
- It would be great if the folks at Primal Spirit Foods would invest in that peel back plastic for the packaging challenged such as myself.
- The package contains 1.5 servings, but don’t let that alarm you. The entire stick contains just about 150 calories and 6 grams of fat. Like the strips, it is loaded with protein, 15 grams for the whole stick.
- The texture comes from a mix of Non-GMO soy and Non-GMO wheat gluten. The flavoring is beyond all natural. I love it when I can read the individual spices in a product…mmm…oregano!