Slim Jims and I have a weird relationship. My first encounter with Jim came when I must’ve been around 12 or so. I bit into his weird, brown, log-shaped entity and my mouth was overwhelmed with what I can only describe as an extreme rush of butter. It probably was some sort of oil, not butter, but it sure as hell tasted like it. Perhaps I got a bad Jim, I don’t know. But I was turned off to Jims, both human and otherwise, for years after. Then at some point I became a jerky fanatic, and the whole story came full circle as I found myself biting into and enjoying Jims of various sizes and flavors from time to time.
That pretty much brings us up to speed with my life. That’s not just with Slim Jims; my entire life has consisted solely of a handful of experiences eating jerky. Nothing in between. And now I’m laying in bed trying out the three new flavors/temperatures of Jim. I say temperature because not only are the new Jims different flavors, they range from “Kinda Hot Chili Pepper,” to “Freakin’ Hot Jalepeño,” to the creative pinnacle of the three names, “Really Freakin’ Hot Habanero.” I wonder how hot it is.
This rubs me the wrong way as a reviewer, because there’s no consistency. I should be rating either multiple flavors with equal levels of heat, or one flavor with varying levels of heat. Maybe Chili Pepper would taste better when it’s “Really Freakin’ Hot.” Maybe a mild Jalapeño is better than a “Freakin’ Hot” one. But enough of my pointless whining.
Just in case you were wondering, a Slim Jim consists of beef, mechanically separated chicken, water, “flavorings,” corn syrup, salt, and a hell of a lot of preservatives. There’s one question they didn’t answer on Lost. Thanks a lot, Damon Lindelof.
The first flavor, “Kinda Hot Chili Pepper,” isn’t really a flavor at all. Technically, Jalapeño and Habanero are species of the generic term, Chili Pepper. There I go with that pointless whining again! Anyway, biting into this particular Jim wasn’t the most pleasant experience I’ve ever had. It would seem that in their attempt to infuse spice into this log of meat, much of the density of the Slim Jim has been lost. More accurately, it feels waterlogged with grease. It’s like eating meat that you’ve cooked in the microwave too long. A thick skin overlays an oily, collapsable interior, making even the texture of this “smoked snack stick” rather unpleasant. The flavor is pretty much generic Slim Jim, but I have to admit, there is a slight amount of heat present in this meat. I can’t say my hopes are high for its two spicier brethren.
If I had any hope for one of these sticks, it was for the “Freakin’ Hot Jalapeño” variety. That hope dripped down my throat and into the acidic ocean in my stomach in the form of a slightly spicier grease than the previous Jim contained. The flavor doesn’t really resemble Jalapeño in any way, shape, or form. It’s more like a sort of Warm Plastic flavor, which I would probably rather eat than this because it would have fewer calories. All of the grease, less of the taste!
At this point, my hands are too greasy to even open the “Really Freakin’ Hot Habanero”, even though I’ve kept them sheathed in their plastic prisons the whole time. After giving it the old college try and getting it open, I regret that I was able to. When I bit into this particular stick, my mouth was glazed with grease yet again, except this time it was disgustingly thick. It felt like what beef fat that has been left out to cool looks like. That’s a sensation I think most people can appreciate. The heat is more intense, but only barely noticeably. I don’t even know what Habanero peppers actually taste like, but I’m not taking another bite of this thing to try to find out.
So I guess I was wrong for complaining about three different flavors at different heat levels; they all taste the same anyway. I can safely say that this experience has once again soured me to Jims worldwide, except Jim Carrey. After Eternal Sunshine, nothing could sully my view of him. Not even that bizarre Emma Stone thing, which I thought was actually kinda brilliant. I probably won’t be buying a Slim Jim any time soon, and if I do for some strange reason, it won’t be a Slim Jim Dare. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be in the bathroom for approximately the next 2.5 hours.