If there’s one thing people tend to know about bodybuilders, it’s that we love our protein. That and the fact that we wear stage tan when we compete, of course (a person’s first question about bodybuilding will inevitably address the topic of The Tan. It seems to hold endless fascination!)
It’s not always hugely practical – or easy – to find protein snacks when out and about. It’s very easy to find crisps, chocolate bars, biscuits… but protein? Not so much.
Beef jerky to the rescue! More and more places are selling jerky nowadays, from supermarkets to corner shops and even petrol stations.
New to the UK market is soft beef jerky from Mariani, leading producer of premium Australian beef jerky. At 35g protein per 100g, it’s certainly a good option.
So, what’s in Mariana soft beef jerky? Beef, obviously, but grass-fed beef, which is an important detail. That’s the good bit. However, I wasn’t as enamoured with some of the other ingredients on the label: sucrose, dextrose, maltodextrin, rapeseed oil and soya protein. The first few explain this jerky’s relatively high carb count (15.3g per 100g, all of which is from sugars). This is a shame, if you ask me, as great quality beef tastes amazing just as it is, no sugars needed.
That said, this is certainly a good option if you are out and about and stuck for a snack. Most of us could do with eating more protein, and more red meat come to that. It would be worth getting a few bags and keeping them in your bag or in the car (or even in your gym bag) for times when you are likely to be stuck without a snack and liable to start looking around for something. If you’ve got a bag of jerky on you then there’s no excuse to reach for unhealthier options.
In terms of taste, I really liked it. It’s a little bit spicy but not hot, and is certainly nice and soft. You know how some beef jerky takes forever to chew, needs a gallon of water to go with it and leaves you feeling like you have dislocated your jaw? Not so with Mariani jerky. It’s got a bit of chew (as you’d expect from meat) but really is very soft, probably the softest pre-packaged jerky I’ve tried in fact.
Stats per 50g bag (because I don’t believe anyone would eat 1/2 a bag):
7.6g carbs (from sugars)
1.2g fat (0.6g saturates)
It’s also high in iron, as you’d expect from beef.
It does say that one serving is 25g but I have to say I ate the entire bag with no problem at all and I can’t really see myself only eating half and folding the bag away for another day (it’s not resealable apart from anything else). Perhaps you’re meant to share?
The verdict? Soft and tasty, and a good option if you’re tempted to reach for a pre-packaged snack. Just a bit of a shame about some of the sugars on the ingredients list.
The RRP for Mariani Soft Beef Jerky is £1.99 and is available in Tesco, Costco and some petrol forecourt shops. The company do a lot of other jerky products, including exotic meats, and I hope they bring those over to the UK too!
Thank you for the sample, Mariani Jerky people!
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.