Sunday’s trip to Inks Lake State Park provided the perfect opportunity to test out an array of meat snacks made by Apex Protein Snacks.
The company makes meat sticks and “biltong,” a drier, more shredded and less sweet version of beef jerky.
My initial reaction to the biltong, a type of dried, cured meat that originated in South Africa? Not enough flavor. Too cardboardy. But the snacks might make good fuel on a long-distance backpacking trip, when you need protein, but sweet stuff might sour your stomach.
Apex bills its products as “Food Fit for Adventure.” I tried two flavors of biltong – spicy peri peri and mesquite BBQ. Per 1 ounce serving, the biltong had 90 calories, 2 grams of fat and 16 grams of protein.
By comparison, Jack Link’s beef jerky has 80 calories, 1 gram of fat and 11 grams of protein. But the ingredient panel for Jack Link’s jerky included sugar and brown sugar – two ingredients that don’t make an appearance on the Apex product.
In a nutshell, the Apex biltong had more protein and less sugar.
I also sampled a few meat sticks, which I liked better, although they still didn’t have enough punch for my taste buds. The original flavor had 90 calories, 11 grams of protein and 0 grams of sugar. The 1.5-ounce stick felt less greasy than some of the other brands I’ve tried, too.
The meat sticks sell online for $29.99 for a box of 12, although they’re running a $24.99 special right now. A 2.25-ounce bag of biltong costs $7.99.
A portion of proceeds goes to the company’s non-profit Kids in the Outdoors organization, which helps bring outdoor experiences to underprivileged youth.