Biltong and beef jerky are different versions of dried meat with each one prepared in a special way. Loyal citizens of South Africa typically prefer biltong due to its origination there. However, most diners will appreciate the unique flavour that derives from each meat’s preparation method.
The Origination of Biltong
Biltong began in South Africa. Furthermore, early Dutch settlers are rumoured to have introduced the dried style of meat, which is now becoming popular in Europe. A thick cut of meat is used to make the dried dish while the preparations add to its specific flavour. With its thick texture, biltong is a snack that is crisp and fulfilling on the outside while staying moist on the inside.
Biltong offers diners a savoury taste due to the curing process, which also increases the texture of the meat. The herbs and spices that are included during its preservation produce the flavour of biltong. Furthermore, the style uses a vinegar marinade for a unique taste enhancement. After the meat soaks in the marinade, it is dry cured, which gives biltong its soft consistency.
The Popularity of Biltong
Rugby players prefer snacking on biltong to keep their energy levels high, and as a result, the dish has travelled to Europe and Australia. In fact, numerous dining establishments sell the dish in Europe, and its popularity has grown within all nationalities. The meat is versatile and is used in many different ways such as in stews, soups and when babies are teething.
In South Africa, biltong is manufactured by several companies, but is also still a snack made at home, while in Europe professional distribution is popular from companies that have perfected their recipes to coincide with the South African taste preferences.
Biltong may be purchased in South African grocery stores and butcheries with consumers buying the product in wide strips that are called stokkies, which means little sticks. Additionally, consumers can find it shrink-wrapped for later use along with shredded and sliced varieties.
The Introduction of Beef Jerky
Beef jerky originated in America where it remains popular today. Furthermore, numerous dining establishments in the Caribbean have embraced beef jerky by creating multiple menu items that include the dried meat. Beef jerky is cut with the meat grain and in smaller sections than biltong.
Native Americans began the process of beef jerky, which continued to be the most used form of cured meat even after the Europeans arrived. It is among the oldest forms of cooking and is now used due to its flexibility with other ingredients and ability to last a long time.
Beef Jerky Manufacturing
During beef jerky’s manufacturing process, herbs and spices are added to flavour the meat. Also, beef jerky is cut into thin strips, which makes it very dry when cooked. Furthermore, the jerky method requires several hours of baking.
Beef jerky is less flavourful than biltong, but is a wholesome snack with fewer preservatives than other processed foods. Moreover, both styles of dried meat are considered a healthy snack with plenty of nutrition and taste.
Riiaan was born and raised in South Africa and later moved to Australia where he now produces some of the best cured meats in the country. He makes both biltong and beef jerky
and is flat out to keep up with demand. When he isn’t busy with his business, Riiaan spends most of his time with his family and also likes to watch Rugby and go to the beach.