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As you might have guessed from this post, I’m a sucker for good jerky. So when I saw these thin, dusky beauties next to the cash register at Wagshal’s Market while ringing up my osso buco purchase, I couldn’t resist.

OK, I’ll confess, I was in a weakened condition. I had skipped breakfast and hadn’t ingested a thing aside from too much coffee. I wolfed down that jerky stick like a dog cleaning his bowl before the rest of the pack arrives.

I wolfed it down because I was starving, not because it was great.

Don’t get me wrong, the jerky was more than fine. It is, after all, a dehydrated piece of dry-aged beef from Wagshal’s, one of the best, if most expesive, markets in the area. The meat itself has a chewy-but-soft consistency, more like (I’m loath to make this comparison, but what the hell) softened Tootsie Rolls than the Slim Jim beef whips at 7-Eleven.

But the teriyaki marinade was too sweet for my tastes, as if the sauce favored mirin and sugar over soy. A heavier dusting of pepper on the exterior of the stick would have gone a long way toward making me a true believer.

As it is, I’m just a curious skeptic who’s open to further evidence—-that is, tastings.