Biltong

Welcome to the Atlas Obscura Community discussion of Biltong. Ask questions or share tips, experiences, pictures, or general comments with the community. For the story behind this food, check out the Atlas Obscura entry:

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As an “Anglo-African” I shudder when I hear biltong compared to jerky. Biltong is air dried, while jerky is cooked meat. It’s like comparing steak tartare to hamburger. You usually need to hang it for a week or more before it’s ready. Also, red meat only - game, beef, ostrich. Some people are doing it with chicken, but that’s an abomination. Generally, we don’t get turkey here.

The clarification is appreciated. I visited South Africa last year and had the pleasure of sampling biltong for the 1st time in Cape Town, and all the varieties I tried were delicious. I found it much more delectable than jerky and your comments helped me better understand why.

Biltong is the soul food for meatlovers,
Game should be on the dry side ,
whilst beef needs the still red centre after wind drying, never through heating.
my personal preference is still with some roasted coriander seed and white pepper , for variety a sprinkling of crushed chillis ~ Smaaaklike Padkoes !

As someone who loves beef jerky so much that I got a dehydrator to make my own, Biltong has long been on my list of things to try. I’ve seen recipes. I’ve seen it available online, but I’ve never given it a try. That is until last summer when I saw it available… in a CVS Pharmacy. I don’t know what was more shocking… finding Biltong on a store shelf, or finding Biltong on a store shelf at a CVS.

I tried it. It was good. I’m sure there are those who would say I still haven’t had true Biltong, and they may be right. Short of hopping on a flight to J’burg and giving it a go, I’ll have to make a kilogram or two to offer a proper opinion.

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