Do you like jerky? Do you know someone who loves jerky? If you do, read on. I’m about to tell you about a unique type of jerky (here’s a hint… it’s not made of meat).
Growing up, the only jerky-type food I ever had was a Slim Jim. Actually, I’ll still eat one of those if I’m hungry and I’m out and about. Most convenient stores carry them. But that is not really jerky. I consider that jerky-like.
If you are not familiar with what jerky is, here is a brief explanation from Wikipedia.
Jerky is lean trimmed meat that has been cut into strips and dried to prevent spoilage. Normally, this drying includes the addition of salt to prevent bacteria growth before the meat has finished the dehydrating process. The word “jerky” derives from the Quechua word ch’arki which means “dried, salted meat”.
One of the reasons why I don’t eat a lot of jerky is the salt. I am trying to keep my sodium in take in check. I am also not much of a meat eater. I’m not a vegan or a vegetarian. I just don’t really like meat. I tend to eat a lot of veggies and carbs (which are bad for you). I NEED more protein in my diet, but I don’t really know how since like I said, I’m not a big fan of meat (red, poultry, pork…).
Recently I was introduced to a jerky alternative. It’s called Vegky. Vegky is jerky made from a surprising ingredient – mushrooms! Shitake mushroom stems to be exact, along with some other ingredients.
I LOVE mushrooms! No one else in my family likes them, so I jump on the chance to have them whenever possible. Just last night I ordered chicken kabobs from a local restaurant. I ended up eating the rice, peppers, onions and mushrooms (my husband ate my chicken). Mmm… mushrooms!
Shiitake mushrooms are nutritious and packed with countless health benefits. These range from boosting immunity system, anticancer compounds, antimicrobial properties to promoting skin, cardiovascular and skeletal health.
Mushrooms also taste great (in my opinion).
Vegky is currently available in four flavors – original, Pepper, Curry, Wasabi and Spicy. So far I’ve only tried the original (with the exception of pepper, the other two flavors are not my “cup of tea.”).
Vegky is minimally processed, which I appreciate. I’m not a fan of overly processed foods. I try really hard to limit my intake of those too. Being diabetic, I have to watch what I eat (carbs are so hard!).
When you first look at Vegky, it looks like jerky pieces. The pieces are not as big as traditional jerky. That is because it’s made from the mushroom stems, and they are not that big to begin with.
The look of Vegky is exactly that of meat jerky. If you did a side by side comparison, it would be hard to tell the difference. It even looks “fibrous” like regualar jerky (if that makes any sense?).
The biggest difference to me is the overall texture of Vegky compared to other jerky. Vegky does have that same “meaty” taste, but it’s less “tough.” You can chew on Vegky without having to chew it a million times like other jerky in order to make it soft enough to swallow. Vegky is already a bit on the soft side, so less chewing is needed.
I actually like the smaller pieces and less-tough chew of Vegky.
As far as the taste, it does taste a lot like meat jerky. It’s not exactly like it, but for someone who is not a diehard jerky fan, they could most likely be easily tricked into believing this is real meat jerky.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, my family hates mushrooms. I have tried for years to get them to try a mushroom, but they won’t. Not even one.
My kids will eat jerky, so I thought I could get them to try Vegky, in hopes that they would realize that mushrooms are not gross, and they would be more willing to try them in the future.
Both of my kids tried Vegky. They both liked it. When I told them it was made with mushrooms, they didn’t believe me (that is because it doesn’t look like mushrooms). My daughter initially acted grossed out, but she continued to try Vegky and did eat more of it (so she wasn’t truly grossed out). My son took the package from me and read the ingredients (he didn’t believe me). He actually asked me if I could get more of it for him.
When asked if either one of them would try other mushrooms, both told me “no.” Oh well… I tried. I thought for sure Vegky would have convinced them that mushrooms are delicious. Who knows, maybe one day they’ll think otherwise.
If you are interested in learning more about Vegky, visit Vegky.com. The brand can also be found on social media. All of the links are found on the top right of their website.
Vegky would make a great stocking stuffer or “Secret Santa” gift idea.
*I received free samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.