What is Biltong?

Technically, biltong is strips of meat that are salted, spiced and dried - a tasty meat snack. 

In reality it is an integral part of South African tradition. Biltong for sale in SA
Biltong is synonymous with South Africa, and though there are other forms of dried salted meat across the world (for example beef jerky, pastirma or pemmican), nothing is quite like biltong. 
The coriander, salt and pepper give it it's own distinctive taste, and the manner of preparing it can make it incredibly tender. It can be made from different cuts of meat, but the most common are silverside and topside, with the eye round making the finest "garingbiltong". 

It is though that the first biltong recipes were brought to the Cape in the 17th century by the Dutch settlers, although African tribes had undoubtably been drying meat to preserve it way before then. 
When the Voortrekkers moved inland in the "Great Trek" they needed a way to prepare their food in a way that made it easy to carry and resistant to decay. Biltong was ideal in this respect, only needing a couple of days to become 50% lighter, insect-proof (and very tasty). It could be kept for a long while, although the older it was the tougher it became. 

Nowadays biltong can be found everywhere in South Africa, and you can get it just how you like it. Bone dry, wet or medium? Fat or lean? With extra garlic or piri piri? Beef or Ostrich? 

Beef biltong is undoubtably the most popular, but in South Africa it is also made from local animals - kudu, springbok and ostrich biltong all being common - and in Botswana there is at least one local entrepeneur that makes it from donkey meat... 

However you prefer it, we at Bushman Biltong try to please. Whilst we can't yet offer you kudu or springbok, you can choose out of various different flavours of biltong and in the comments you can specify how wet or dry you'd like it.

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