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Slice of Impala Anyone?




Biltong is a very popular snack in Southern Africa. If you've ever spent time in Southern Africa (and you're not a vegetarian) you've probably tried biltong. Biltong is similar to beef jerky in that it's all meat -- chewy, salty, raw meat. The difference is that biltong is dried, not smoked (like beef jerky). Biltong is usually made from either beef or game. Game biltong is made from various bucks like impala, kudu, and wildebeest. Ostrich biltong is also great. Personally I'm not that keen about feasting on a slice of kudu while I'm driving around watching these magnificent beasts in the wild -- but there's no denying, it is delicious. Game biltong tends to be less fatty than beef, so if you're watching your figure you know which one to go for.

The basic biltong recipe includes salt, vinegar, coriander, saltpeter (for the colour) and pepper. The ideal conditions for drying biltong are cool, very dry weather. The drying is the tricky bit, if it goes too slow your delicious piece of meat will turn green and that's never good. So special 'biltong boxes' are built to let just enough heat and air in to produce the perfect biltong.

Where Can You Get Biltong?

In the US:

Some of the best biltong I've tasted in the US was from Braaitime, in particular their Droewors was absolutely delicious. You can buy a "taster" package which is ostensibly free, but then add $10 shipping. The packaging and contents were excellent quality, I would highly recommend them. You can also purchase Appletiser to wash it all down with.

I also very much enjoyed 4Biltong.com. They don't have a wide range of products, just biltong and boerewors, but both are delicious. If you want good biltong along with Mrs Balls Chutney, Rooibos tea and chappies, then check out the South African Food Shop.

Other US Biltong retail outlets include:

In the UK:

You can get biltong fairly easily in the UK since there are lots of Southern Africans living there. Biltong2u Ltd. offers both beef and a wide variety of game biltong and Susman's Best Beef Biltong also has a good choice of biltong types and flavors.

Other UK Biltong retail outlets include:

Make Your Own Biltong
Of course it's cheaper to make your own Biltong and there are plenty of sites that have recipes and ideas for the meat lovers out there. The most comprehensive biltong web site I found is a South African site called Biltongmakers.com (yes, biltong deserves entire web sites dedicated to it).

You can also contact Richard Weldon (wel@wol.co.za) who has invented a very nifty Biltong maker that can be shipped all over the world. It makes biltong in a matter of days, perfect for people like myself who can never plan ahead. See the second image in this feature to see what it looks like.

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  6. What Is Biltong and Where to Buy It?

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