Biltong is fairly new to the UK and you may have seen it appear in supermarkets or in your favourite retailer. Despite the increase in its popularity, there is still some mystery surrounding biltong. We’re often asked questions about the meat snack, so we thought we would tackle some of the most common questions we get asked regularly.
What is biltong?
Biltong is a delicacy that had derived from meat preservation techniques. In its most basic form, biltong is pieces of meat that have been seasoned and hung up to dry.
Where does it come from?
Biltong originates from Africa and is a massively popular snack amongst South Africans. It was a meat preservation method for the indigenous people of South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. It was often made from proteins such as fish, bison and elk that had been smothered in salt and hung up to dry in the hot sun. It was then picked up by colonisers and it became a popular delicacy in the daily life of South Africans.
How is it made?
The process varies from brand to brand. We use traditional South African methods with Cruga Biltong. We marinate Silverside cuts of beef (the same cut you would find in a Sunday roast) with herbs and spices and then hang up the cuts in a drying room. The drying time varies depending on environmental factors such as the weather. We then have workers who handpick the biltong once it’s ready. It is then sliced and packed into the bags you see on the supermarket shelf.
Is it the same as jerky?
People often get confused between biltong and jerky, but the manufacturing processes are very different. Jerky is cooked and smoked on a low heat for a long time giving it a completely different texture and taste from biltong. Similarly to biltong, jerky was a meat preservation method of the indigenous people in North and South America.
Is it healthy?
Yes! Biltong is a very healthy snack. A 25 gram packet of Cruga biltong contains 13.6 grams of protein and only 70 calories. It is also low in sugar, carbs and fat. If you’re watching your macros of following a paleo diet, Cruga Biltong is the snack for you.