Biltong is a traditional South African meat snack that has grown in popularity around the world. It is made from cured, salted and/or seasoned raw beef (or game) cut in thick slices, which are then hung to dry for a few days.
Biltong dates back to the early 1700s when Dutch settlers first arrived in South Africa and realized the need for affordable, convenient protein for their voyages between Europe and the Cape of Good Hope or for those long trips in the desert.
The word "biltong" is directly derived from Dutch terms meaning "strip of buttock."
Biltong, at its best, is distinct from beef jerky in that it typically contains less sugar and no artificial preservatives. Traditionally, biltong was made with only salt and vinegar as curing agents, which resulted in a softer texture than Jerky. Nowadays, various spices such as coriander, black pepper and chilli powder are often used to enhance the flavour of biltong.
Biltong can be enjoyed on its own as a snack, or as an ingredient in dishes such as soups, stews and salads. It can also be diced into smaller pieces and used as a topping for pizza or sandwiches - adding crunchy texture and intense flavour.
Biltong makes an excellent post-workout snack due to its high amount of protein per serving size and because it is so easy to transport; it is the perfect snack for hiking trips or outdoor activities.