Recently I was given a couple packages of Pan’s Mushroom Jerky to test out, after owner Michael Pan stumbled upon my ode to mushroom jerky. However, before they arrived, Pan warned me that the product is not vegan, as it contains egg white. (So I guess I don’t really get off on it!)
On using egg whites in the recipe, Pan says:
Regarding the egg whites, they have been in the original recipe for years and are there to improve both the flavor and texture. We’ve tried removing them, but the taste and texture just isn’t the same. We’re still trying to come up with alternatives so if you have any suggestions let me know. In the future, we hope to carry the original recipe, a vegan recipe, and hopefully more flavors.
So alas, this vegetarian friendly product would be something I would have to miss out on. However, I did not miss out on feeding it to friends and co-workers to gauge their opinions!!
One co-worker, who is by no means vegetarian but an avid beef jerky consumer, said the product had tons of good spices and seasoning, although he likes his jerky with a bit of a kick. He also said that he wasn’t a big fan of the texture, although appreciates that Pan’s is much lower in sodium than a meaty jerky. He also liked the shroomy illustrations on the package and before eating it made a joke about how I would have to explain it to our boss if he started hallucinating.
Another co-worker, who is vegetarian but NOT a jerky fan in general, said the texture reminded her of soy protein. Since she doesn’t really like jerky in the first place, her opinion on flavor is void. Hah!
A veggie friend of mine, who—like me—hasn’t had real jerky in years, was a big fan of Pan’s. She called it “chewy and satisfying” and said it did remind her a good deal of what she remembered beef jerky to taste like.
While I couldn’t eat the snack, I did smell it (spicy goodness!) and touch it. It left a bit of a greasy residue behind, which is not the case of the shroom jerky I packed by the suitcase when I visited Taiwan.
Pan’s family has been making this jerky for over 15 years, apparently starting in Malaysia where Pan was visiting relatives. I like that it has only 6 ingredients: Mushroom stalk, egg whites (boo!), sugar, palm oil, salt and spices. I would love to see them using organic stuff in the future, and of course, love to see them nix the eggs!
I think this snack is great for any vegetarian who wants a little jolt of jerky, or even a meat-eater who wants a healthier option than traditional jerky–Pan’s stuff has way less salt and is less processed.
Anyone have any suggestions on what Panco Foods LLC can put in their jerky instead of egg white so vegans (read: me me me me!) can enjoy it? I already asked about a flax sub—not sure if jerky works the same as pancakes. MMM..jerky pancakes..
Wanna get some of your own Pan’s jerky? Check it out ! www.pansmushroomjerky.com