When we ducked out to Suzy Spoon’s Vegetarian Butcher for lunch, this little brown paper bag sitting prettily on the counter top caught my eye. At first glance, you’d think it was just any old jerky – just nicely packed.
But in actual fact, it was a mock meat jerky made from eggplant! I thought it was an interesting concept, so we paid up the $10 and took home some of this vegan-friendly jerky… and this is how it went.
Does this even count as mock meat? It is labelled jerky after all.
When I ripped open the packet, which also has a zip-lock top so the product keeps longer, I really didn’t know what to expect. In my opinion, most mock meat products always lack something or rather, so my expectations were pretty low.
This eggplant jerky smells very strongly of tamari with hints of other spices that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. But then I realised the ingredients were listed on the back of the pack and it was as follows:
Eggplant (duh!), Gluten free tamari, Water, Cracked black pepper, Coriander seed, Garlic, Onion, All spice, Cumin, Smoked Paprika, Bay leaves
How does it taste?
Well, to be completely honest I found it a bit too salty for me but it definitely doesn’t lack in the spice department as the cracked black pepper gives it a bit of heat, but not too much.
Texture-wise, the eggplant’s naturally sinuous flesh gives it the stringy texture that beef jerky has, which was a plus. That same stringiness also gives that chewiness of real beef jerky, which is pretty damn cool if you ask me.
Besides the taste, I really enjoy packaging like this. Minimalistic, brown, resealable paper bag with a simple stamped on label, complete with packing date stamped and dotted with a red marker. This baby was from batch #75, made by someone whose initial/s resemble an ‘e’, or a ‘c’?
Anyway, it’s so nice to find and try locally-made products like these. Griffin Jerky is proudly Australian-made with no preservatives, nitrites, nitrates and MSG.
I was not aware that they started off making beef jerky until I checked their website, which is a bit of a bummer because I prefer not to support the meat trade where possible. That just teaches me to do my research before buying stuff on impulse!
I also noticed that this same 25g pack of eggplant jerky sells for $4.99 AUD on the website so it’s probably better to buy online, especially if buying in bulk. This sadly means we paid a premium of $5 at Suzy Spoon’s. Grr!
I probably won’t be getting it again for several reasons, with the main one being the taste being a bit too salty on its own. You’d definitely need a cold beer to wash it down.
Oh well, check out their classic eggplant jerky and other products on their website!