Biltong is a type of dried meat. Biltong ingredients can be poultry, fish, or game meat as long as it is appropriately flavored, hung to dry, and seasoned to be absolutely delicious.

When describing biltong, people who have tasted it compare it to cured dried meats but denser and richer.

Biltong is mouthwatering. But prior to taking your first bite, read this article to get a better idea about this terrific snack.

What is the history of biltong?

Biltong has been around for hundreds of years, with its roots dating back to South African tribes. Prior to the invention of refrigerators and freezers, indigenous people needed a method of meat preservation for future meals. To do so, they utilised basic resources such as knives to cut meat, salt for flavoring, and preservatives. These dried meats were hung on tree branches to dry.

In the 19th century came the Dutch, who were on a mass migration known as the Great Trek. Dutch farmers numbering thousands brought their wagons to avoid British rule in Cape Colony and moved to the inland areas of Southern Africa.

For this long and tedious journey, they needed portable, non-perishable food to provide sustenance. For this purpose, biltong was the best solution. 

They brought the preserved meat with them and dubbed it biltong, a combination of the Dutch words “bille” for buttock and “tonghe” for tongue.

This era marked the humble beginning of the biltong, which is now famous as one of South Africa’s delicious meaty snacks. 

What is the difference between beef jerky and biltong?

Biltong is not the same as beef jerky.

But both are dense and dried meat products. Hunters and nomads invented both as a means of storing food. 

Beef jerky and biltong taste amazing and are a great accompaniment to a cold bottle of beer.

What are the benefits of biltong?

Biltong is made of pure meat, making it an excellent source of protein and all nine essential amino acids. A serving of uncured beef already provides one-half of your dietary requirements of protein.

Beef is packed with micronutrients including iron, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and selenium. It is richer than most other meats. These components help build muscle, repair tissue, improve immunity, and promote brain and body functioning.

Biltong made from beef is able to retain most of these nutrients since it is entirely air-dried. 

Compared to a protein bar, it is healthier and provides more satisfaction than a bag of potato chips. Moreover, biltong is naturally low carb, low sugar, and totally gluten-free.

What is the best way to enjoy biltong?

You may have the notion that biltong is just a stack. It is prepacked, no mess, and travel friendly. It will not disintegrate into crumbs even after a long commute. 

But biltong is not merely a snack since it has wide-ranging culinary possibilities. It is a deliciously seasoned, ready-to-eat meat, making it a perfect addition to sandwiches, toppings, stews, and frittatas. You can also keep it simple and sprinkle it on rice.

Why is biltong the new and improved meat? 

Biltong is a favourite snack of travellers, health-conscious eaters, and people who enjoy diverse flavours. It highlights the best part of your favourite meat: the taste of jerky and the softness of prosciutto, but all with the simplicity of aged steak.

The primary difference between biltong and other ready-to-eat meats is that biltong is made with just a few all-natural ingredients, minimal processing, zero artificial additives and heat.

The result is a flavourful high-protein snack that is nutrient-dense you can’t wait to sink your teeth into.