As a consumer who actually resides in Buffalo, products like Jack Link’s Buffalo Chicken Dippers offends me on two distinct levels: One, what is buffalo sauce? I’ve been to just about every pizzeria in Buffalo, and none of them have “Buffalo sauce.” You can get hot, medium, mild, barbecue, or any other special that the specific restaurant carries, but I have never seen Buffalo sauce in Buffalo. Second, this is supposed to be Buffalo style, right? I’ll let you in on a little secret: Dipping your hot wings/fingers in ranch sauce is sacrilegious in Buffalo and choosing ranch over blue cheese will net you a free beating with a bar of soap inside of a sock. While I’m off ranting about how my crappy city with its crappy weather, crappy economy, high taxes, and crappy job opportunities at least has decent wings and pizza, let’s go over to our friends in the *gulp* nutrition department.
Now I know what you must be thinking: Oh, 60 calories that’s not so bad. 330mg of sodium is a bit high but not off the charts. You would be completely wrong. There are three and a half servings per container, which amounts to slightly less than two chicken sticks per serving. This also means that each container (and at a whole one third of a pound, you will finish the entire container) carries over one thousand mg of sodum, also known as 50% of your daily requirement of salt. Clever, Jack, but not clever enough. Then again, I have some choice words for a person who checks the packaging of jerked meats to make sure they are healthy, the same description I use for the guy who spends five minutes shaking a door that is clearly locked.
Jack Link’s describes the product as: “Buffalo and ranch were meant to be one. Fire up your palate with the fiery buffalo sauce, and cool it down with the creamy ranch. Dip, dip, away.” They should actually describe the product as buffalo chicken laxatives, but more on that later. Each container comes with seven chicken sticks about the size of a french fry, already hit with some buffalo sauce, and two of those fast food sauce packages for the ranch and buffalo sauce. The chicken jerky on its own actually wasn’t half bad. The meat was what I expected from chicken jerky, slightly moist and a little on the stringy side, but edible and with the mild flavor of the built-in buffalo sauce. I would be tempted to go out and try the Buffalo Chicken nuggets that Jack Link’s sells, but more on that later.
The sauce is the worst part of this concoction because it tastes expired, an admittedly difficult feat considering Buffalo wing sauce is essentially the formaldehyde of food toppings and generally degrades slower than a plastic bag. Anyone who has ever taken a drink of milk that’s been in the fridge for too long knows that taste of expired dairy, a level of revolting that makes you pine for the days when your biggest fear was that the chef was putting his boogers in your food, or that General Tso’s poor knowledge of the English language meant that his perception of chicken walked on four legs, had antlers, and is considered tenderized and lightly seasoned when struck by a large vehicle and left on the side of the road awaiting delivery. The sauces are awful because they are loaded with preservatives and still manage to taste like someone left them in the sun all day, kind of like the CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch. It was all I could do to not curl up in the corner of my room, sobbing and wondering what I did to make food so angry and why food hated me.
I had a lot of time to ponder Jack Link’s Buffalo Chicken Dippers, mainly because I spent a lot of time on the toilet after eating it. I will be the first to admit that a case of food poisoning is better than I deserve for willfully destroying my body with this slop, and that maybe the early signs that the ranch dressing tasted expired might have been because it was in fact expired. The packaging says it was fine, but frankly I’m an idiot if I thought Jack Link’s knew anything about making real food. Still, I have to hand it to this crazy jerky company for breaking my iron stomach. I’ve survived consuming broken glass, decade-old cream of wheat and brownies, a moron putting clear window cleaner in a F**KING WATER BOTTLE and leaving it on the counter, and growing up in a household whose #1 food value was “don’t throw it out, eat around the mold,” and never had to deal with even indigestion up until this point.
Bravo, Jack Link’s, bravo. I’m going to go throw up now. I bought this along with the beef jerky and cheese dippers to review both, but I’m going to take a pass.