Biltong is a healthy, high-protein snack that is not only delicious, but also easy to enjoy on-the-go. Softer in texture than its close relative beef jerky, biltong is a traditional South African snack which packs a punch in flavour.
In this blog article we will delve into everything you need to know about biltong, from understanding its unique qualities to discovering the best ways to eat and enjoy it.
What is biltong and how does it differ from jerky?
Biltong is a traditional South African snack made from seasoned and dried meat, usually beef (Although we do make a delicious lamb biltong!). Unlike traditional jerky, which is typically marinated in a sweet and salty sauce and then air dried in pre-cut strips, biltong is air-dried as a whole piece of meat, and seasoned with a mixture of spices such as coriander, pepper, and vinegar. This preparation method sets biltong apart from other types of jerky and gives it a unique flavour and texture.
Biltong is much softer in texture than jerky, as it is dried as a whole piece of topside beef rather than being cut into strips prior. Our tried and tested biltong recipe involves marinating the whole piece of beef in our special blend of spices for a whole 24 hours during the curing process. And then, we let it air-dry nice and slow to retain ultimate tenderness. Biltong is dried from the outside in, leaving the inside moist and juicy.
The nutritional benefits of biltong
Is biltong good for you? Actually, yes! Rich in protein and lower in salt that jerky, eating biltong as part of a healthy diet is a great option. Biltong is a powerhouse of protein, making it an excellent snack for those who lead an active lifestyle or need to refuel after a workout. Additionally, it is low in carbohydrates and contains minimal fat, making it a healthier alternative to many other processed snacks. Moreover, biltong is rich in essential nutrients such as iron, zinc, and vitamin B12, providing a wholesome and nutritious snack option.
What cut of meat is best for biltong?
When it comes to biltong, the cut of meat used can significantly impact the taste and texture of the final product. At The Jerky Co we only use the highest quality MSA topside beef for our beef biltong, which means all our beef has been graded by Meat Standards Australia to ensure ultimate tenderness, juiciness and flavour. Our leaner biltong varieties provide a lighter and tender snacking experience, while our fatty options have delightful, succulent texture and an enhanced flavour profile.
Storage tips for biltong
Proper storage of biltong is crucial to maintaining its freshness and flavor. Store your biltong in a cool, dry place in an airtight container to prevent moisture from seeping in. This will ensure that your biltong stays delicious and ready to eat whenever you need a quick and healthy snack.
As for preparation, biltong is ready to eat straight out of the packet, making it the ultimate convenient snack. However, some individuals prefer to thinly slice their biltong or use it as an ingredient in various recipes.
Food and beverage pairings for biltong
While biltong is a delicious and satisfying snack on its own, pairing it with other complementary foods can enhance the overall snacking experience. Try adding biltong to your next charcuterie board, or add it on top of your morning avo toast. Additionally, biltong pairs exceptionally well with craft beers and red wines making it an excellent snack food option for social gatherings and get-togethers.
Here are some food and drink combos to get you inspired:
Cheese: Biltong and cheese make a classic and delicious combination. Try it with cheddar, gouda, or brie for a tasty contrast of textures and flavours.
Nuts: Mix beef biltong with your favorite nuts like almonds, cashews, or pistachios for a crunchy and protein-packed trail mix.
Dried fruits: Dried apricots, mangoes, or cranberries complement the savoury element of biltong perfectly.
Crackers or rice cakes: Spread some cream cheese or hummus on crackers or rice cakes and top them with thin slices of beef biltong for a delectable bite.
Avocado: The creamy texture of avocado goes wonderfully with the chewiness of beef biltong. Try making avocado toast and layering biltong on top for an elevated smashed avo!
Salad Topper: Add it on top of your salad as a topper, for a great protein kick!
Olives: For a Mediterranean twist, pair beef biltong with a variety of olives, for a salty and savoury combo.
Pickles: The tangy and crunchy pickles can balance the richness of beef biltong, creating a harmonious blend of flavours.
Craft beer or red wine: If you're enjoying biltong as a snack during happy hour, pair it with your favorite craft beer or a glass of Pinot Noir or Merlot.
Vegetable sticks: For a healthy snack idea, veggies such as carrot, celery, or cucumber sticks add a nice freshness to the richness of the biltong.
Our commitment to produce the best authentic biltong
Here at The Jerky Co. we take pride in crafting the finest biltong using premium cuts of MSA grade beef and delicious seasoning blends to cater for every taste preference. From the rich and exotic truffle fatty beef biltong to the fiery heat of the extra hot beef biltong, there's a flavour for every biltong fan to enjoy.
Shop our range of delicious biltong online and instore now!
Biltong is a delicious and nutritious snack that health-conscious individuals, snack aficionados and fitness enthusiasts will undoubtedly appreciate. So, whether you're looking for a quick bite or a tasty addition to your social gatherings, our range of biltong from The Jerky Co. is a perfect choice that is bound to be a real crowd pleaser. Shop online or from one of our 18 locations!