Fruit Snacks For Grown-ups

Basketball plus trampolines equals Slamball. Chess plus boxing equals Chess Boxing. (I’m not kidding. Go follow that link.) Yogurt plus archery equals … Okay, you can’t just put any two terms together and get something great.

How about “tropical fruit” and “jerky”? I know. It sounds wrong, doesn’t it? But the people at emailed me a couple of weeks ago to see if I wanted to try some of their new pineapple jerky. I had to say yes, if for no other reason than curiosity.

That’s what I told them when I wrote back: Sure, I’ll try it, but I’ve got to tell you it doesn’t sound like an obvious winner. That’s okay, they said. We’re confident you’ll like it.

A couple of weeks go by and no package. I wrote to make sure they had my right mailing address, and they told me orders were so strong they couldn’t keep up with demand. That’s a good problem to have with a new product.

So production finally caught up and I got my shipment. Two packs of pineapple jerky.

(These are sample packs. The packs you get when you order them have about four times as much in them.)

Check out the ingredients listed on that package. (Click on the picture for a larger view if you’re having trouble reading it.) Pineapple and honey. That’s it. Made in Maui. Well okay, this is promising.

And you can see from the shape of it that each piece is a slice of pineapple. They look surprisingly like flowers, which suggests some interesting possibilities in terms of presentation.

Unlike meat jerky, which can be hard, dry and stiff, these are flexible and chewy.

Like meat jerky, though, you might not want to try this with braces or bridgework. I don’t know if something happens to the pineapple when they dehydrate it, or if it’s the honey, but these things take a pretty strong bite to get through. And they chew a lot like meat jerky.

The flavor was amazing. The pineapple was concentrated and tart, with just enough honey to balance it without making it taste like candy. I’ve been trying to think of something to make with this so I can take advantage of the flower-like appearance. But I can’t think of anything that I’d want covering up the flavor straight from the package. Yes, I thought of dipping it in chocolate, and I don’t think that would improve it.

Packs of pineapple jerky definitely cost more than the fruit snacks you might give your kids. But they’re real food that you can feel good about giving them, and they’re good enough that you might just keep them for yourself.

This is the first product I’ve tried from, but the ingredients look just as good on the rest of their stuff, Beef Jerky, Turkey Jerky, Ostrich Jerky, Alligator Jerky … I’m starting to think they’ll make jerky out of just about anything.