Biltong is the name for a traditional form of South African dried meat. The name originates from the Dutch word BIL meaning buttock and TONG meaning strip.
Biltong has it's earliest origins in Medieval Europe and was introduced to South Africa by the arrival of Dutch Settlers at the Cape of Good Hope in 1652.
Biltong has no comparison to and is certainly not "beef jerky". Biltong is a gourmet delicacy that South Africans love to eat and it is made by salting, spicing and curing selected cuts of Beef, Venison or Ostrich.
The variety and quality of biltong sold in South Africa is extensive and South Africans take their biltong very seriously and there are very many biltong spice recipes out there however this is how some of the very best beef biltong is made
TIME IS THE SECRET ! but the correct cut and spice mixtures are also most important. There are many methods of drying Biltong however the golden rule is that heat is never applied to the meat throughout the drying process. Slow cure Biltong in the traditional air dried Karroo way and the taste just does not get any better than "Bledie Lekker" brand beef biltong made right here in the USA!
If you have any Biltong left (most unlikely) and wish to store it for the long term then wrap the individual pieces in plastic wrap and keep in the freezer until required (This will prevent mold and further drying). Do not eat biltong directly from the freezer but allow a few hours to thaw as frozen biltong is tasteless.
Biltong is also available grated to a fine powder which is used as a filling in Omelettes, Cheese Quiche and also makes a great spread on sandwiches
WHERE TO BUY BILTONG IN THE USA
It is highly illegal to produce and ship meat products in the USA which are not USDA inspected (Look for a USDA Establishment Number legend on the packet). This inspection ensures that the biltong manufacturing process is approved, hygenic and is safe for human consumption
The process of obtaining USDA approval for the manufacture of biltong in the US is extremely difficult to say the least (almost impossible) this problem has resulted in the marketing of jerky products in the US as being USDA approved biltong (jerky is heated during manufacture) however if you read the title and fine print on the "biltong jerky" pack you will notice that it reads "biltong flavored beef jerky" so please take care of where you shop as you may be buying jerky and not biltong! USDA considers that biltong and droewors are raw products as unlike jerky no heat is involved in producing these products and therefore insist that the labels biltong and droewors have a cooking instruction applied however our biltong and droewors is all fully cured and ready to eat from the packet, and these products must never be cooked as this will spoil the flavor!
There are many claims made on the web regarding biltong quality however we have tried them all and nothing comes even close to "Bledie Lekker" brand It is by far the finest Biltong, Droewors and Boerewors in the USA and better than most back in SA! This is real South African Biltong and there is just no comparison in the US!