Since there are not many updates to share in this unfortunately still ongoing period of Covid19 I was thinking that it may be worth trying something new. While we are at the moment unable to bring you to Africa, it is still possible to bring Africa to you!
So in this blog post I will share one of my favorite South African foods with you. Those of you who have been to South Africa will certainly have tried some Biltong. For those who haven't had the chance to travel to South Africa yet, Biltong is the air dried meat you can buy in all butcheries, specialized shops or filling stations.
The name originates from the time of the dutch settlers and the word comes from bil (rump) and tong (strip). The process itself has a much longer history with the indigenous South African tribes rubbing their meat with salt and hanging it dry in the shade to preserve it. Tales even tell the story that nomad tribes kept the meat under their saddles to soften it.
The Europeans introduced today's classical ingredients vinegar, coriander, pepper and cloves to the curing process. Historians today believe the spicing method worked its way from the coastal parts to the rural parts of South Africa since the spices were brought in by merchant ships mainly from India and Indonesia. Originally more game meat was used and in the 19th century today's most popular beef version became incresingly popular. The
Dutch settlers, called Voortrekkers, were the first to combine traditional African methods with their own to preserve the beef for long journeys. The popularity of Biltong in South Africa is best described by the fact that its sale exceeds the sale of chips, candy and nuts making it the country's top snack. The recipes vary largly and every store, butcher or family has its own secrets, methods and tips to make the perfect Biltong.
Since a few weeks I am also the proud owner of an original South African Biltong maker and I am currently experimenting with finding the perfect mixture. First results are very promising and I will keep you updated.
Have you tried Biltong before? Let us know your thoughts?
Have a great day and thanks for reading.