It’s been quite some time since I’ve written a food product review. I was perusing our town’s Hannaford looking for something to bring to work for lunch and these snacks caught my eye. Vermont Smoke and Cure beef sticks had their own cardboard display. After some research I learned that they are formerly called Real Sticks. The display only offered a couple of flavors so I picked out the original and the uncured bacon. Let’s bite in to see how it fared….
Nutritional Information (Original)
- Calories: 80
- Total Fat: 6g
- Saturated Fat: 2.5g
- Sodium: 230mg
- Total Carbohydrate: 0
- Sugar: 0
- Protein: 6g
Ingredients: Beef, pork, sea salt, spices, evaporated cane sugar, celery juice powder, ascorbic acid, lactic acid, lactic acid starter culture (not from milk). Encased in collagen casing.
HOW DOES IT FARE?
I was surprised to learn that the company has been around since 1962 in central Vermont. It has since moved north, closer to Burlington. They are committed to sustainability and help local farmers. I LOVE the transparency the company has as it even shows the name and location of the farms where each meat is sourced. Turkey is raised at Plainville Farms in southern PA, beef is from Pineland Farms in ME, and the pork comes from Coleman Natural Meats in NC.
To show their commitment to sustainability the company uses >50% solar power and energy efficient smokers.
The packaging was easy to read and pleasant. It certainly caught my eye even when I was in a hurry. The back of the package was transparent so you can see the actual snack. There’s something comforting about being about to see what you’re buying.
I loved how fresh the snacks tasted. Unlike overly processed highly preserved snacks like Slim Jims the Vermont Smoke and Cure meat sticks tasted like real meat. They were delicious and not too dried out either.
Ingredients & Nutrition: 9/10
At first I was skeptical…How can they claim 0g sugar while having evaporated cane sugar in the ingredients? I was near ready to call their bluff when I saw their FAQ page. Amazingly they address this incongruity. It’s explained that the cultures used to lower the pH (to aid in preserving the product) eat up nearly all of the sugar added. After nutrient testing the finished meat sticks are left with 0-1g sugar.
The meats are raised without antibiotics or hormones and are vegetarian fed. Because of the unique fermentation process there are no preservatives needed and no sodium nitrate.
Pertaining to allergens, Vermont Smoke and Cure proudly offers their products gluten free, nut free, and dairy free.
Although I can’t speak for states farther away I was impressed by how many stores near me carry these smoked meat snacks. The site has a store locator as well as an online store. Availability is no issue.
My score: 39/40
This is a darn near perfect score in my book. If you combine the meat stick with another snack like some veggies or a small piece or fruit you’d have a better balanced plate. I highly recommend that you support this company and enjoy their food.
To try this tasty treat AND get 15% off you first order, visit: www.vermontsmokeandcure.com/