I'm on a plane flying back to Hawaii feeling bored and hungry when my friend opens up a package of teriyaki flavored Kaimana Ahi Tuna Jerky, giving me a sudden whiff of one of the tastiest things on this planet.
I sound like I'm exaggerating, but this was the best jerky I've ever eaten. I haven't been able to go back to beef jerky since, which says a lot because I am a lover of beef jerky—I used to crave and eat it constantly.
Now I'm a lover of ahi jerky. It's one of those "once you try something great, you can't go back to something not as great" situations. So here are five reasons why Kaimana Ahi Tuna Jerky is better than beef jerky.
1. There's none of that meaty fat that comes with beef jerky.
All ahi jerky is lean, which is amazing for people like me who certainly don't look forward to eating all the fatty, chunky bits of beef jerky.
My sister and I used to make it our mission to pick out all the scarce lean parts we could find in a beef jerky package. Now I never have to worry about paying attention to what I'm picking out because every piece of Kaimana Jerky is a good, non fatty, thin piece of fish jerky, and it's awesome
2. It tastes like beef jerky, sorta.
If you don't like the taste of fish, get a teriyaki or original flavored ahi jerky because I swear it tastes almost identical to regular beef jerky. Some will taste more fishy than others, but it's not a bad taste. (Disclaimer: I love fish, it's one of my favorite foods.)
3. It comes in a variety of flavors.
There are a total of six different Kaimana flavors to choose from. I have personally tried teriyaki, salt and lemon, original and Hawaiian Warrior, all of which taste great. The stronger flavors like teriyaki and lemon salt will give you a saltier and more savory taste, while others will give you a toned down and natural flavor.
The textures of the jerky vary depending on the flavor because of the way the fish is dried and seasoned. They're all similar to thin cuts of beef jerky, but Hawaiian Warrior has more of a crisp texture like a hybrid between a chip and a jerky—I actually think it's my favorite.
4. It's safe, all natural and handcrafted.
I noticed that all the ingredients are natural with no MSG or artificial flavoring, their ingredient lists include things like such as lemon peel, soy sauce, sesame oil, hickory liquid smoke, pepper, and red chili.
The jerky is handcrafted on the Big Island of Hawaii where the fish is freshly caught on local grounds, and then seasoned with natural ingredients and dried.
One regular sized package of 2.75 ounces is 90 calories, and lasts a year before expiring. (But I devour mine in one sitting because I can't resist.) Also, it's FDA certified and approved by the Hawaiian Seafood Council.
5. You can buy in bulk.
This might be a pro or a con depending on how hard you like to snack. Kaimana Ahi Tuna Jerky is primarily available on the Hawaiian islands because it's made locally, which is good since you know it's high quality stuff but bad if you're out of state.
Fortunately, they ship to places throughout the U.S. and Canada. Warning: it might be a little pricey, especially if you need to cover shipping costs. One regular 2.75 ounce of jerky costs roughly $9 because the ingredients are natural and the fish is caught locally. However, you are able to buy in bulk online to get more for your money either on their website or on Amazon. I, along with online reviewers, attest that the quality of jerky is worth the price.
Anyone who's like me and appreciates the taste of fish and the heart that goes into such craft will enjoy Kaimana Ahi Tuna Jerky. If you try it for yourself, you'll immediately understand what I'm talking about—it'll change the way you eat jerky.