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A Brief History Of Biltong

A Brief History Of Biltong
Biltong is essentially a cured meat that originated in South Africa as a result of the aforementioned preservation techniques of the Dutch.

The word biltong is derived from two words of Dutch origin; “bil” (meaning “rump”) and tong (meaning “strip or tongue). Dutch people who came to South Africa from Europe in the 17th century brought recipes for dried meat from Europe.

The hot climate of South Africa dictated that standard preservation methods for dried meat would have to be adapted to make meat last longer, and, in addition to this factor, Dutch settlers would also trek across South Africa for weeks on end. As a result of this, the Dutch settlers stored raw meat for longer than usual so as to preserve it for consumption. After storing the meat in vinegar, salt, and spices for up to two weeks, the settlers noticed that the meat had turned almost black and rock solid; thus, fully cured biltong meat was created.

What exactly is Biltong?

Original Biltong - The Biltong FarmBiltong is essentially a cured meat which originated in South Africa as a result of the aforementioned preservation techniques of the Dutch. Biltong is very similar to beef jerky, but the taste of biltong is much stronger than the somewhat plain taste of jerky due to vinegar and salt being added during the drying process.

As a result of this drying process, people report that biltong is much more flavoursome than jerky and, due to its one inch thickness, acts as more of a substantial snack that fills the stomach and really gives you something to bite into when compared with the more flimsy pieces of beef jerky.

Modern Biltong Consumption

Over the course of the past twenty years, biltong distributors have seen an increasing rise in the demand to supply both retailers and individual consumers with their products. This has come largely as a result of the global tourism industry that emerged in the second half of the 20th century. As increasing numbers of tourists began to holiday in Cape Town, they began to indulge in biltong which, in South Africa, is considered to be something of a delicacy.

Gradually, local food stockists and supermarkets began to receive requests from UK customers about whether they stocked biltong. However, there was one small problem – it is illegal to import biltong that has been produced in South Africa.

 The reason for this lies with the Customs and Excise department, which forbids the importation of meat products from countries that do not form part of the European Union. As a result of the prohibition on importing biltong, people have opted to produce their own biltong made to the authentic South African taste.

If you are an individual consumer or a representative for a retail stockist, then you will be able to obtain your biltong and droëwors spice from

The Rising Popularity of Biltong

Biltong has gradually grown in popularity since its introduction into Europe in the 1990s. Indeed, many independent retailers, garages, pubs, and convenience stores now stock biltong. While the range of flavours that biltong is available in has also developed, and the range now includes beef, black pepper, chilli, ostrich and biltong beer sticks that can be dunked into a favourite beer and sucked on like a teething baby.

Incidentally, biltong is also popular for babies who are teething as well as beer-swigging adults. However, it is advisable to teethe babies on milder biltong products that have had their spices removed so as to prevent scaring the baby off beautiful biltong for life.

A Brief History Of Biltong
A Brief History Of Biltong
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