Biltong is an air-dried steak

Runder Biltong

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EARLY BILTONG ORIGINS.

The word biltong, directly translated from Dutch is {'bil'} meaning 'Buttock/Rump' {'tong') meaning 'strip/tongue'.

Runder Biltong contains a high level of protein and no added sugar, making it a very healthy snack.

It is said that biltong, in its earliest form, was brought to South Africa by the early Dutch settlers. While traveling long distances on horseback, large strips of beef would be placed under the horses' saddles. The constant pounding from the rider would tenderize the meat, all while the salty sweat from the horse, would preserve it. This provided a reliable and rich source of protein that would keep for many months.

Thankfully, these days we don’t use horses or saddles to make biltong. Although our process is comparable in its simplicity, the combination of meat and the unique home-roasted blend of spices makes Runder biltong simply irresistible.

We like how this has come full circle. The Dutch settlers brought South Africans biltong in its most basic form and over time, South Africans perfected the art of making it and thus making it part of the national staple diet. We think that it's fair game to offer this same quality biltong in The Netherlands too, as an ode to the early Dutch settlers. Made with 100% Dutch beef and traditional South African flavours, Runder Biltong is simply the best biltong you will find in The Netherlands. 

BILTONG IS BILTONG. BILTONG IS NOT JERKY.

These two products are often confused because of the similarities of their looks. Yes, they are both a form of dried beef but the processes used to achieve these products are vastly different.

Generally speaking, jerky is cooked and smoked to speed up the dehydrating process (often an artificial smokey flavour is used). It is made with artifical ingredients to enhance the taste and shelf life of the product. This results in a product with low nutritional value and most often a bad tasting product.

Biltong is more of an artisanal process in the way that it is made slowly, using mainly salt and air to cure and dry the meat. Biltong producers across the globe all have their own unique method to achieve the typical dried meat outcome but traditionally the main ingredients are salt, pepper and coriander. 

Typically, the meat is marinated in the spice for up to 48 hours (or more) and then the slabs of steak are hung up in a temperature controlled environment between 24-28 degrees celsius, with air movement (fans) that flows across the strips of meat, allowing the salt to sink in, extract the moisture and getting the flavour into the meat. 

Because of the very low temperature in the drying process the meat is not cooked and thus retains much more of its natural proteins and nutrients. The drier the biltong, the higher the protein value.

Biltong is a healthy meat snack that can be enjoyed as a lunch time snack, a meal replacement or a pre-post workout meal. Typically in South Africa you will find biltong in any supermarket and at large gatherings or 'Braais' being enjoyed with an ice cold beer, a glass of wine or simply on its own.

You can get more ideas on how you can eat and cook with biltong on our blog page here.