I remember being introduced to biltong. I had just started dating my now husband, and he’d gotten some snap sticks brought to Holland by someone returning from South Africa. I learned that it’s one of those things that South Africans miss the most overseas, so I was curious to try it. To be honest, I wasn’t overly impressed. It was so dry and hurt my teeth to eat, but the flavor was pretty nice. Oh, I had so much to learn.
Once we moved from Holland to Joburg, I had access to way more biltong and finally found my preferred version of it. You see, I think biltong needs to have some fat on it. Without the fat it’s just dry, almost flavorless shards of meat – I might as well eat the biltong spice on its own instead. But when there’s a bit of fat on it, I can actually enjoy biltong in any state; I don’t care whether it’s wet, medium or dry. It’s like perfect morsels of salty, spicy, meaty goodness that you can legitimately eat anywhere and at any time.
Since then, it seems they’re making biltong out of so many more meats. Originally, you could get beef or game biltong, and that was about it. Now, I’ve seen everything from bacon biltong (Yum!) to chicken biltong, which is an absolute abomination.
But not everyone feels the way that I do. There are those who like those chili sticks that are obviously intended as torture devices rather than food. There are those who actively seek out squid biltong. And even heathens like Darryn who don’t think fat belongs on biltong. You know what is even scarier? I’ve heard talk from some Americans that proper beef jerky as it’s made in the South is just like biltong. I can’t say that I trust this concept, though, as the only jerky I’ve ever had was weird, processed junk.
How do you take your biltong? Or are you one of those even weirder people who prefers droewors?
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Last Updated: May 26, 2017