Taste Test: Trader Joe’s Wild Salmon Jerky

It’s not for everybody
Dan Myers

Trader Joe’s sells a surprisingly wide variety of jerky through its house brand, and most of it is of the turkey or beef variety, obviously. One different type of jerky caught our eye, however, and we had to try it: wild salmon jerky. Boasting a large quantity of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, the jerky starts with sliced wild Pacific king salmon, which is brined in brown sugar, molasses, sea salt, and maple syrup before being dried.

The first thing you’ll notice when opening the bag is the smell, which was off-putting to the majority of our tasters due to a close resemblance to the smell of fish food. That carried over into the flavor of the jerky as well, which was strongly fishy and salty, with the flavor of brown sugar and molasses coming through as well. It was extremely sweet and salty at the same time, with a tough texture that made it tough to chew. It also left our hands rather sticky and fishy-smelling.

That said, there is a place for salmon jerky in the American culinary lexicon. One taster noted that "this is exactly what salmon jerky is supposed to taste like," so for those out there who are fans of the stuff, you’ll likely be a fan of this as well. It just wasn’t our personal cup of tea.


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