Biltong -it’s a South African delicacy that has been popular for centuries. In the last decade, it’s become increasingly more popular in the UK, especially amongst athletes and the health conscious. You may have seen it on the supermarket shelf, but here are some things you may not know about it:
- The history
Biltong originated from Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The word ‘biltong’ comes from the Dutch words ‘bil’, meaning ‘rump’ and ‘tong’, meaning ‘strip’. It dates all the way back to ancient times and was originally a meat preservation technique used by the indigenous people. They preserved the meat by slicing it, curing it with salt and hanging it up to dry.
- It’s dried, not cooked
Even today biltong is not cooked, it’s dried. All our biltong is prepared with the beef being trimmed by our butchers for any excess fat. It is then sliced and rolled in a marinade before being hung-up by hand in our unique drying room. During the time in the drying room, we have a team of people who check to see whether the biltong is ready to harvest. This is not an easy skill as it includes many variables such as temperature both inside and outside the factory, the thickness of the beef and how much beef is hanging at one time. Our team picks the biltong at the optimum time to ensure that it’s of the best quality.
- We use the silverside cut of beef
Our beef biltong is high quality as it is sourced from cows raised on mainly a grass-fed diet. This means that it complies with all EU welfare standards and is free from growth hormones which can be found in products produced in other regions of the world. All cattle raised in the UK and Europe have their feed topped up in the winter as they are in need of extra nutrition to get them through tough weather conditions. This top-up feed includes root vegetables such as carrots, turnips and some grain.We have worked with our suppliers for many years and they know exactly the quality of silverside that we are looking for. This gives us the reassurance that when you get your packet of biltong, the beef we use is to the same high standard that you have come to expect.
- It’s long lasting and easy to store
The great thing about biltong and preserved meat is that it lasts. Our biltong will last for up to 18 months when stored in cool, dry conditions in its original packaging. This makes it the perfect snack for taking out with you on the go.
- It’s healthy and high in protein
Not only is our biltong tasty, but it’s also healthy and is a great source of natural protein. A typical packet of Cruga Biltong contains 54% protein. It’s also an incredibly efficient source of a number of important proteins, amino acids and vitamins.
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