Biltong is a lump of dried meat made specially. It could be poultry, beef, game meat, or fish. So far it is air-dried, flavored, and delicious, in a ready to eat pack. Biltong is many individuals’ favorite cured meat that is richer in nutrients and denser. Let’s take a deep look into what biltong is before having a bite.
Origins Of Biltong
The origin of biltong meat is traced back to South Africa. It has been in existence for so many years. When there were no modernized ways of preservation such as freezers and refrigerators, the local people looked for a healthy method of preserving their extra meat for future usage. So to achieve this, they made use of what they had – such as salt for preservation, knives for slicing, and trees to hang meat until they are properly dried.
Later in the 17th century, when European dwellers mixed up with them, they saw the advantage of stocking food supplies. This discovery led them to add their preservatives which were vinegar and potassium nitrate also called saltpeter to the meat.
Some couple of decades later, the Dutch migrated massively into Southern Africa. When they required nonperishable food that would keep them going, Biltong became their choice. Then the name Biltong originated. Biltong is a combination of Dutch words “bille” meaning buttocks and “tonghe” meaning for the tongue or strip. This marked the starting of biltong, Southern Africa’s most favorite meat.
Biltong As A Cut Of Beef
Biltong can be said to be beef jerky, and at the same time, it is not beef jerky. These two types of meat are made mostly with beef, and other kinds of meat, dried and dense. The two types of meat were made by nomads and hunters for sake of stocking food. Notwithstanding, there is a huge difference between biltong meat and beef jerky.
Biltong As Brooklyn Peri-Peri In The International Market
As of now, biltong is now the trending meaty snack on board, even in the international market, and yet it’s quality-make seems untouched. It is made without any form of artificial preservatives or flavors with grass-fed beef. More improved than how it was made some centuries before now.
Biltong can be made with different styles of cut, unlike jerky. The cut could be lean or fat with different ranges of texture and flavor. Biltong butchers mostly would offer several options like wet, medium, or dried – depending on the kind of moisture you want to be left on the meat. This means an individual can have the biltong meat the way he desires – dry and crumbly or soft and tender.
A piece or slice of biltong is larger than that of jerky. It is approximately 2-inch thick. Also, it can be sliced either after or before processing the meat. Biltong is cut just as the owner wants it. It could be longer for chewing or smaller for an easy bite.
The meat is then covered with a well prepared spicy blend – grounded black pepper, blended coriander seeds, regular rock salt, vinegar, and all-spice. Though any other spice of your choice can be used. One of the ingredients that give biltong a distinct taste and softness is vinegar. Vinegar also cures the meat during the drying process.
Modern variants of Biltong manufacturers make use of recent ingredients for making their biltong recipes such as apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar, sea salt, bicarbonate of soda, or small brown sugar – this helps to kill the acid found in vinegar and softens the meat strips.
One of the final and less stressful steps is to air-dry the meat. Select a safe and dry place with good ventilation, hang the meat there, and allow it to dry. Depending on the atmospheric condition and the choice of how you want your meat, it should be ready between 5 days to a few weeks.
Biltong, when properly dried will become half of its original size – can be bent without any cracks and firmer than before. Then it’s color would have become rich, deep maroon. Aa a fresh meat, it can be enjoyed for about 4 days, and when packed properly, it would last for some months.
Health Benefits Of Biltong
Biltong is a pure meat snack, is a nutritious source of protein, containing all the essential amino acids. A serving of biltong meat is packed with half of the body’s daily needed protein. The beef package is more micronutrients which include zinc, iron, selenium, B6, and B12 – than other meats of this kind. These nutrients can help repair tissues, build muscles, enhance brain and body functions, and lastly boost immunity.
Beef biltong can retain its vitamins, proteins, and minerals because it is air-dried and not dehydrated or heated. It is much more satisfying than a pack of chips and healthier than protein bars. Furthermore, Biltong meat is low sugar, naturally low carb, and gluten-free. This makes it safe for keto, paleo, and whole30 practitioners to use.
How To Best Enjoy Biltong
Biltong can be passed as a snack. It can be packed in all kinds of essential boxes. It is well packaged, can’t easily drop into your bags or pockets, no mess, and even after a long journey it remains intact.
It doesn’t end there. There are many culinary possibilities with biltong. Biltong is amazingly ready to eat meat. Perfect for topping canapes, shredding into sandwiches, sprinkling on top of rice, can be used with coffee beans tea, and flavoring frittatas and stew.
Biltong is a modern improved meat snack. Travelers love Biltong, healthy eaters, and several other individuals enjoy snacking on the meat. It has the combination of several other types of meat snacks in one pack – tenderness of prosciutto, the flavor of jerky, plus other qualities in just one pack. Making it the best in South Africa and other international markets and regions.
One of the distinguishing differences between biltong and other meats is its natural processing techniques, and natural ingredients used, without any artificial ingredient, addictive, or heat. This makes it rich in protein, nutrient-dense, yummy, and all ready to fill your taste buds.