Honey. Garlic. Beef. Each of these things is a wonder on its own. Put together under a Local banner and invested with the power of salt and snackability, however, they become a triumvirate of midnight snacking temptation.
Do not fool yourself when you purchase this innocuous-looking package of “Honey-Garlic Beef Sticks” from Cornell Farms that you will be doing anything once you open it except either eating them or telling yourself, as you eat something else or try fruitlessly to occupy yourself with tasks, that you need to save some for your spouse or your kids or just simply “for later.” Once you’ve eaten the first one the open package will sing its siren song directly to the cave man or huntress woman living in the basement of your subconscious, and that individual is going to make sure the package is empty before some other animal finds it and steals it from you.
When you eat your first Beef Stick you will try to break it in half to be polite. As it flexes, a diamond-dust of salt will glitter along its thin skin before it parts to show you the dense meaty interior. If you are of a strong constitution you’ll break it entirely in half before your teeth go to that spot; if not, you can fold it in half and eat it double-time.
First there is the saltiness of the outside. You will lick that from your lips afterwards, because next there is a tinge of wood-smoke to taste and then a hint of sweetness as you chew, and it’s not until you breathe out blissfully through your nose that you notice the delicate garlic fragrance and a faint hint of licorice from the anise seed in the recipe. It is chewy and much dryer than most pepperettes, which is delightful, because the longer it stays in your mouth the longer you get to absorb the flavour, like a savoury sort of Starburst candy. The only possible complaint we might have about the Honey Garlic Beef Stick is the package. It only contains five pieces, which is cursedly difficult to split among a family of four or between a couple. Our recommendation: get two packs.