Today we’re checking out the Big Mamou Cajun Beef Jerky – Hot Boiled Crawfish flavor from Douget’s Cajun Products in Mamou, Louisiana. This is one of those random finds that’s courtesy of some old-fashioned Griswold-style holiday road trippin’. While passing through Crowley, Louisiana to visit family for the holiday, I happened across this unique product at an off the beaten path truck stop. The idea of a beef jerky that tasted like boiled crawfish was interesting and off-putting at the same time. Something different about this jerky that I’ve never seen from any other manufacturer is the recommendation that if I want more flavor from the product I should microwave it for 5-10 seconds. Definitely going to have to try that and see how it affects the aroma and taste.
It’s not often when doing a review that we come across crab spice and lemon powder, but considering the angle of this product, it’s to be expected. Here’s everything that it takes to give jerky that boiled crawfish flavor: Beef, water, soy sauce, salt, brown sugar, crab spice, dry worchestershire sauce, red pepper, granulated garlic, dextrose, granulated onion, lemon powder, sodium erythorbate, black pepper, oil of clove.
Color and texture are not that different from any average beef jerky you’ve come across. The aroma has strong traces of citrus, clove, garlic, and just a tiny bit of cayenne. I wouldn’t say that it smells uniquely like crawfish, but more so generally like the aromas you would get at any shellfish seafood boil, be it shrimp, crawfish or crab. Between myself and 3 cajuns, we’ve all agreed unanimously that it smells pretty similar to Zatarain’s Crab Boil rolling in the pot at a boil with a few lemons.
There is surprisingly a very beefy flavor to start. The clove and citrus comes on pretty strong after that and then mellows down once you’ve chewed it a fair bit. There is noted flavors from the red pepper, bay leaves, and garlic, and the clove flavor keeps going from start to finish. There is a nice chewy texture to this beef jerky. It’s thin and dry, but once you chew it a bit, it opens up and is nice. There’s very minimal ‘torn cardboard’ look to it when tearing it in to pieces. There are some pieces that come across a bit salty, but the overall produce has a Nice taste, however even the Hot version is pretty Mild. Again, it’s not a ringer for full crawfish flavor, but it’s pretty close. I’ll give the last piece the short nuke and see if the packing is true. Interestingly enough, the nuking of the product knocks away the strength of the clove aroma. The nuking also seems to mute most of the flavors and bring up the heat just a touch, but it tends to bring out the beef flavor a little more than before, and makes this a little less tasty to me. It’s probably a great move on their other jerky products, but on this one it kills off that seafood boil taste that you expect. It seems like it would be a matter of taste, but now I’ll have to remember to nuke all my future jerky and see how that affects taste on different products. If you like the aroma of seafood boils, but perhaps can’t eat them due to something like a shell fish allergy, or maybe want the taste, but none of the mess of peeling shells, then this just might be your ticket to paradise. All the flavor, and none of the twitchy epi pen action.