These wonderful little snacks called Primal Strips attracted my eye at our local natural food store. With the packaging and image of meat jerky, I was a bit surprised to discover that they were in fact vegan!
I do love eating vegan, yes, I am a huge fruit, vegetable, and grain fan. I always have been. But, quite frankly, if I really want the flavor of meat, it has always seemed logical to me to eat…well…meat. I love veggie burgers, but not the ones that are made to look and taste like meat. Rather, I like the grain and mushroom based ones that are supposed to be actual vegetable burgers. As much as I love to follow a vegan diet, I have just never felt the need to go for meat substitutes.
That being said, I somehow felt these meatless snacks deserved a shot. After all they just recently won a Best New Vegetarian Product Award.
The Primal Strips come in six flavors, broken down into three types, soy-based, seitan-style, and shiitake mushroom. With three categories in front of me, I decided to do three reviews. Though quite similar, each seems to target a different audience. So I started with the soy-based varieties of Texas BBQ and Hickory Smoked.
Requiring a dose of protein after some strenuous soccer matches, I brought these flavors along for a post tournament snack. As expected, I think the soy based flavors were the meatiest of the bunch. To my surprise, they tore apart with ease, and shredded “meat-style.” The texture was chewy, but not tough, and really quite delightful. Though I can’t speak for all, this jerky may actually fool me if I didn’t know in advance that it was vegan.
This flavor packs some serious protein for a low calorie punch! With just 81 calories for a generous amount of jerky, I received 10 grams of protein and only 1 gram of fat. The sugars were at 5 grams, more than I like in a “meat” snack, but not bad in the grand scheme of things.
As for the flavor, a small disclaimer should be made, I am addicted to all things barbecue flavored. There may be some slight biased here. That being said, this was a mild and sweet jerky with a wonderful barbecue flavor. This chewy and delicious snack is one I wouldn’t hesitate to experience again.
This one packed the same protein punch, with just a tad more calories (99) and fat (3g). The sugars were slightly more in check at just 3g as well. Tastewise it was a bit sweet, with an obvious “smoky” addition. I wasn’t surprised to see smoke flavoring in the ingredients, though the licorice root did surprise me. Overall, I didn’t find the flavor overpowering. It had just a touch of spice that emerged as an aftertaste. I am still a bigger fan of all thing BBQ, but this was still pretty good and worth another “chew.”
My Extra Notes & Tips:
- These Primal Strips are made with Non-GMO soy and ingredients I was not only familiar with, but could also fully pronounce. All natural is their goal, and they have succeeded.
- 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. Though they do not have a store locator on the Primal Spirit website, I am sure if you contact them they will be happy to help you locate some! If you search the web, it also seems to be available from a few vegan online vendors
The Facts on Soy Primal Strips
Certifications: Primal Strips are Certified Kosher Parve.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, these Primal Strips are dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-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.