OK, so I've procrastinated long enough on a full report. As you might know, a couple of months ago I won a contest and the prize was a $100 gift certificate to be used at U.S. Wellness Meats. I've been wanting to try their products since I found out about them, and this was the big chance, so I took it. After some careful planning I was able to get a nice selection of varying products. When I was working on the order, I also got a 15% discount, which was a nice bonus.
I did take my time trying out my order. That's partly why its taken me so long to write up this review.
Herein is give a short review of each item. Please keep in mind that I've recently gone back to eating meat (in a sort of paleo-ish way) after being a vegetarian for over seventeen years.
These were good, but I didn't notice any difference from store bought hamburger patties. I'm guessing there might be some small health benefits, which would add up over time, so if I was decently wealthy I would probably buy more. But you can probably do as well getting some from a local farm.
This too was as good as what you'd find in your regular store. Nothing remarkable, but a good solid product. I do want to try their summer sausage, but IIRC it was sold out when I made my order.
These I didn't quite understand. To me "sliders" are small thin hamburgers that have holes in them so they can be cooked fast. Its the fast cooking that gives it much of its great flavor. But these turned out to be small thick patties of an almost pasty consistency. They were good, but not what I was expecting. They served well as part of my typical sausage, veggies, and egg breakfast. But I think I actually like a more traditional crumbled sausage for that.
I first tried this using the typical frying pan methods. The pieces turned out good, but nothing special (other than not being pork). It worked well as a replacement for sausage in the morning meal.
But when I tried baking some, that's when it really shined. Once I can afford to spend a little more on food, I'm hoping to pick up some more of this.
The liverwurst is good, definitely better than what you find in your typical grocery store. It might be worth the extra cost if you can afford it.
I still don't really know what the difference between liverwurst and braunschweiger is supposed to be, but this was clearly different. It was similar, but one has more organ meats in it, and the nutrition is bumped up accordingly.
The one beef I had with it was the consistency of it. There were chunks of different stuff, and when sliced they would break apart like knots do when you cut wood. If they mixed the ingredients just a little more this would be a nearly perfect product.
I've always been a huge fan of butter, so getting to try some fancy butter was appealing. I know you can get this in some grocery stores now, but it is more expensive than the cheap store brand butter. So when I got this it was one of the first things I tried.
At first I didn't notice any difference, so I did a direct comparison. Yes, the Kerrygold is slightly creamier and better tasting than regular butter. But not so much that I'd go out of my way to get it.
This was another one that seemed slightly better than the regular store stuff, but nothing special. Of course, the fact that it was made into a stew meant that it couldn't be as directly compared to regular stew meat.
The one real disappointment in the batch was the pemmican. I was hoping for the cherries to stand out more, but the taste of the fat was overwhelming. I couldn't eat a whole stick - which is kinda the point but still...
I can see how this would be a good emergency food supply, which is how it really should be used; eating it sparingly when hungry in order to be able to keep going.
Gouda is one of my favorite cheeses, and this one didn't disappoint. However, I didn't find it to taste any better than regular gouda.
With just the one exception of the pemmican, I found the products to all be at least as good as your typical grocery store fare, and in most cases somewhat better. The package arrived very quickly and was well packed. Everything was still solidly frozen and none of the packages were stuck to each other. And of course, the nutritional value and lack of "evil chemicals" will have value to many.
I only found two downsides: the minimum order of $75 and the higher price of the products compared to regular store prices. Of course the extra value of grass fed and organic and all that is worth something, and if you are in good financial shape you might feel the extra price is worth it. I, unfortunately, am not currently able to spend any more than necessary on food; so I likely won't be ordering more from them in the near future. But when things do turn around for me, I will be back for more.