Available at Taste supermarkets

Product: Spicy Pork Jerky Slices (Packaged)

Price and Origin: $15.90 for 60g, from Taiwan.

Looks: Did not look overly processed with its natural dark red hue. Also looked quite fibrous compared to the others.

Taste: The first thought we had of this one was that its texture was more Western-style. It was more moist than other contenders and had more chew in it, which we liked. One taster thought it reminded her of Christmas. We also liked the slight kick of spiciness at the end that lingered long after.

Verdict: Very tasty and very affordable. This is the option we would opt to pack for trips on the road or on the go when we want to avoid carrying fresh jerkies around.

Foodie rating: 4 stars

759 阿信屋

Available at 759 convenience stores

Product: Preserved Pork with Original Flavour (Packaged)

Price and Origin: $10.80 for 50g. It’s a Hong Kong company, but the product is made in China.

Looks: Glistening and bright red in appearance. It was a bit too artificial to be really palatable, but then it is supposed to last in an underground bunker, so it’s going to take some chemicals to turn this jerky into a long term chew. But it was still a bit hard to swallow something so otherworldly in appearance.

Taste: Pretty in line with how it looks. This one tasted very processed and smelled like cat food. It vaguely resembled bacon fat, but owned a mushy texture.

Verdict: Steer clear. Both the look and taste seem to suggest you’re consuming little more than a chemical stick. (In case of nuclear apocalypse, perhaps reconsider?).

Foodie rating: 1 star

Soo Jerky

Available at Taste supermarkets

Product: Fruit Flavoured Pork Jerky (Packaged)

Price and Origin: $58 for 85g. Made in Canada.

Looks: Quite hairy. Also looked a little bit like rotten meat. The least visually pleasing one of the bunch.

Taste: Despite its unsightly appearance, the taste was actually not bad. It had a nice barbecue-y flavour,

although it skewed slightly too much to the sweet side. The fruit flavours did not really come across and the texture was a bit too tough and fibrous for our liking.

Verdict: We see potential in this one, but at this price point there are better options. If you do decide to give this contender a go, perhaps eat it while doing something very engrossing to avoid looking at it too much.

Foodie rating: 3 stars

Bee Cheng Hiang 美珍香

Shop 1, Ying Kong Mansion, 2-6 Yee Wo Street, Causeway Bay, 2833 0128

Product: Classic Sliced Pork Jerky (Fresh)

Price and Origin: $21.30 for 50g. Singaporean company, but the jerkies are roasted on the premise of each outlet.

Looks: Glossy with a natural red tone and slightly burnt on the edges. Fits our ideal image of what good, fresh jerky should look like.

Taste: This was a very well rounded jerky. It was fresh and crispy and the honey-glazed surface gave it a nice, subtle sweetness. It was also smokey and slightly bacon-like, so there were many levels of flavours, and all balanced well with each other.

Verdict: This was a pretty clear-cut winner. The proof was in the empty bag, as it’s the only one that we finished.

Foodie rating: 5 stars

KoI Kei Bakery 鉅記餅家

Shop A1, 1 Pak Sha Road, Causeway Bay, 2808 4881

Product: Fresh Barbeque Pork Fillet Jerky (Fresh)

Price and Origin: $57.00 for 290g. Freshly made in Macau.

Looks: Very shiny and red but not in an appealing way. The colourings might not be artificial but it’s definitely chock-full of them.

Taste: Tasted very gummy and sweet, almost like fruit leather. There was also a lot of lard in it which left a greasy aftertaste that made us all chug water afterwards.

Verdict: Quite disappointing. Given this is fresh jerky from a big name brand. We liked their promise of no artificial colouring or preservatives and that they are freshly made in Macau and vacuum packaged, but based on how oily it was, it didn’t warrant a repeat tasting, so maybe we’ll just stick with the pastries when it comes to Koi Kei.

Foodie rating: 2 stars

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