So after making the meatless meat plunge into the soy-based Primal Strips, I decided to tackle the seitan-style flavors. Those Primal Spirit people seem to be winning me over. Though I have always snubbed my nose at meat imitations, the soy ones had truly impressed me.
The seitan-style strips are wheat gluten based. They aren’t completely soy-free due to the addition of soy sauce, but definitely soy-low. Before opening the packages, I noticed that the strips appeared similar to the soy-based ones, but were much lighter in color. I was very surprised to see that these still packed a good dose of protein (10-11g per serving) with a very low calorie profile (74-99). The calories were particularly surprising as this was a snack that really did seem to satiate.
To address the similarities, the texture was remarkably similar to the soy-based strips. They were still quite “meaty”, chewy, and tore apart with a shredding ease. I think the seitan may have been a bit less chewy once I got into them, but really it was hard to tell. As for differences, it seemed more about the flavors.
Since I had never come across a Thai peanut flavored jerky, meat or meatless, my curiosity selected this flavor first. I wasn’t disappointed. The peanut flavor was mild, yet delicious and inviting. A warm heat emerged as an aftertaste. It was spicy, but less spicy than I had anticipated, which was nice. This is easily my favorite flavor. My addictions usually arise from a combination of good taste, texture, and uniqueness. The Thai Peanut certainly possessed all three.
Having no idea what “mesquite” tastes like, I took a chance and selected this flavor next. I can only assume that the flavor was true to taste, based on the other Primal Strip flavors. Unfortunately, as it turns out, I am not a big fan of mesquite, at least not in combination with lime. The sweet and sour mix with the lime really didn’t appeal to my taste buds.
I was surprised to find that the Teriyaki strips had a good dose of spice. They weren’t too sweet, as some teriyaki flavored items can be, yet it was a very nice sweet and spicy blend. I like that the Primal Strips are quite flavorful, yet not overloaded with artificial flavor to try to mask the non-meat backdrop. The Teriyaki was an excellent example of how they work with the seitan rather than trying to hide it.
Though I was a huge skeptic, this Primal Spirit company has really created not only a “meaty” vegan product, but also a tasty one! Onto the final version, shiitake mushroom…
My Extra Notes & Tips:
- All of the ingredients were pleasantly recognizable. It was refreshing to actually see peanuts and basil in the Thai Peanut rather than “natural and artificial flavors.”
- My clumsy self found the primal strips quite difficult to open. They seemed to require scissors, as each time I tried to peel one back (of course while driving) I could barely break into it. That is some seriously strong plastic!
- Unfortunately, this stuff just wasn’t very picture worthy. Tasty, yes … pretty, no. But what jerky is really?
- One warning, unlike most meat jerky, this stuff is messy, worth it, but messy. The natural nature of it makes for a caramelized coating of flavor that does leave your fingers a bit sticky. Keep a napkin on hand or even a wet nap!
Where to Purchase: Primal Strips are sold in stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. If you search the web, it also seems to be available from a few vegan online vendors
The Facts on Seitan Primal Strips
Certifications: These Primal Strips are Certified Kosher Parve.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, these Primal Strips dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, vegan / plant-based, vegetarian. Nonetheless, always read the ingredient statement and check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.
For More Product Information: Visit the Primal Spirit Foods website at primalspiritfoods.com