What exactly is Biltong?

The word biltong originates from the Dutch bil (“buttock””) and tong (“strip” or “tongue”).

Biltong is beef silverside that is air-dried and marinated to a traditional South African recipe of rock salt, pepper, coarsely ground coriander and vinegar. The meat is then air-dried in our unique drying chamber and then hand-picked before being sold whole or sliced to your requirements.

Biltong is made using prime cuts of beef silverside and is typically sold as long fillets of meat or more commonly as flat pieces cut across the grain of the meat that are in a ready to snack pack. It has a very distinctive taste following its lengthy preparation procedure and has therefore become a traditional South African delicacy enjoyed by many as a snack, at sporting events, when training, as a mid-afternoon snack or at home watching TV.

Beef is one of the most popular types of meat. It’s exceptionally rich in high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals. Therefore, it may improve muscle growth and maintenance, as well as exercise performance. As a rich source of iron, it may also cut your risk of anemia.

The need for food preservation in South Africa was pressing. Building up herds of livestock took a long time, but with game in abundance in South Africa, traditional methods were called upon to preserve the meat of large African animals such as the eland in a warm climate. Iceboxes and refrigerators had not been invented yet. Biltong as it is today evolved from the dried meat carried by the wagon-travelling Voortrekkers, who needed stocks of durable food as they migrated from the Cape Colony north and north-eastward (away from British rule) into the interior of Southern Africa during the Great Trek. The meat was preserved and hung to be dried for a fortnight during the colder winter, with the cold temperatures aiding to further inhibit bacterial and fungal growth. Once suitably dried, the biltong was ready for packing in cloth bags, which allow air circulation to prevent mould.