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What is Biltong?

What is Biltong?

If you're a fan of South African cuisine or a curious foodie looking to explore new flavours, you've likely heard of the word "Biltong." But what exactly is biltong, and why is it gaining popularity beyond the borders of South Africa? 


Biltong is a beloved South African snack that has been a part of the country's culinary heritage for centuries. It is a type of dried, cured meat that boasts a unique flavour and texture, making it a staple in South African households and a sought-after delicacy worldwide.

Biltong Selection at South African Spaza Shop

At South African Spaza Shop, we take pride in offering a wide range of traditional biltong options that cater to various taste preferences. Our selection includes the classic traditional biltong, as well as enticing variations like Chilli Chutney flavoured biltong, Garlic Peri Peri biltong, and the delectable Smokey Barbeque biltong. Each variety offers a distinct and mouthwatering taste of biltong.

The Making of Biltong

Biltong is typically made from high-quality cuts of beef, although game meats such as venison are also used. The meat is carefully seasoned with a blend of spices, including coriander, black pepper, salt, and other secret ingredients that vary from one biltong maker to another. These spices play a crucial role in giving biltong its signature taste.

Once seasoned, the meat is left to marinate, allowing the spices to infuse the meat with flavour. After marinating, the meat is air-dried, either by hanging it in a cool, dry place or using specialized drying equipment. This slow drying process can take several days, during which the moisture is removed from the meat, leaving behind the concentrated flavours of the spices.

The Biltong Texture

One of the defining features of biltong is its unique texture. Unlike beef jerky, which is often tough and chewy, biltong has a tender and slightly crumbly texture. This texture is achieved through the drying process, which preserves the meat's succulence while intensifying its flavour.

Why Biltong is a South African Icon

Biltong holds a special place in South African culture and history. It was originally developed as a way to preserve meat in a hot and arid climate, making it an essential survival food for early settlers and indigenous people. Today, it is a symbol of South African hospitality and a cherished snack enjoyed by people of all backgrounds.

Biltong is more than just a snack; it's a culinary delight that represents the rich tapestry of South African cuisine. At South African Spaza Shop, we offer a wide selection of various flavours, which you can explore in our online shop or by visiting our store in the heart of Swindon.

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