What is the Difference Between Biltong and Dry Wors?
Biltong, a South African culinary treasure, is a form of cured and dried meat that traces its origins back to the country's rich cultural history. Typically made from beef, game meats, or even ostrich, biltong is prepared by marinating strips of meat in a blend of vinegar, salt, and spices. The marinated meat is then air-dried, resulting in a flavourful and chewy snack that has become a favourite not only in South Africa but also among food enthusiasts worldwide.
Dry wors, a close relative of biltong, is a traditional South African dried sausage. The word "Dry wors" translates to "dry sausage" in Afrikaans, which precisely describes the texture of this savoury treat. Made from a mixture of beef and pork, or sometimes game meats, Dry wors is seasoned with a blend of spices that can include coriander, cloves, salt, and pepper. The seasoned meat is then encased in natural casings and air-dried until it reaches the desired consistency.
What are the Differences?
Form and Texture:
The primary distinction between biltong and dry wors lies in their form and texture. Biltong presents itself as thick strips or slices of dried meat, resembling jerky, with a chewy and hearty texture. On the other hand, dry wors is a sausage, usually formed into thin, cylindrical sticks, offering a more compact and succulent texture.
Ingredients and Seasoning:
While both biltong and dry wors share the commonality of being marinated and dried, the seasoning varies. Biltong often features a mix of vinegar, salt, and spices like coriander, pepper, and sometimes sugar, creating a rich and robust flavour. Dry wors, being a sausage, incorporates similar spices but in a different ratio, resulting in a unique taste that combines the richness of meat with a symphony of aromatic spices.
Preparation and Drying Process:
The preparation process for both biltong and dry wors involves marination and air-drying, but the techniques differ. Biltong is typically hung in strips to dry, allowing air circulation around each piece. In contrast, dry wors is encased in natural casings, forming a link of sausages that dries uniformly.
Biltong and dry wors showcase the artistry of preserving and enhancing the flavour of meat. While biltong offers a robust chewiness in its sliced form, dry wors presents a more compact and succulent experience in its sausage manifestation. The subtle differences in seasoning and preparation methods contribute to the unique identity of each, providing a diverse array of choices for those seeking the savoury pleasures of South African cured meats. View our shop to see our options!