More About South African Biltong and Boerewors

sliced biltongThe Best Biltong In South Africa boerewors

Where in South Africa is the best biltong made?

In the early pioneer days of South Africa there were huge herds of game known as trekbokke (Migrating buck) in the Karroo, North Western Cape, Orange Free State and Western Transvaal regions of South Africa and also what was then known as South West Africa, these areas all have dry winters and summers and which is ideal for drying meat and so with an abundant supply of game the early pioneers (Voortrekkers) preserved the meat by making biltong and simply hanging it up to dry in their ox wagons as they migrated north the great trek These regions still produce the bulk of biltong and droewors made in South Africa, with the Great Karroo being the area where the best Springbok biltong is made.

the karoo where biltong is made

What are the meats of choice for Biltong?
Biltong is traditionally made from either beef, kudu, springbok and ostrich and you can even find shark biltong in the town of Gansbaai off the South Eastern Cape coast (Has a bit of a bite)
Game such as Springbok and Kudu provide a better quality of biltong than beef due to the meat being leaner with no marbling as well as having a superior flavour. Ostrich tends to be similar but has a distinctive taste and becomes quite dry so that one can tear strips off a stick when fully cured
However when it come to the best biltong, Springbok is without doubt by far the most superior biltong in texture and flavour!

Droëwors (Dry wors) is a dried sausage which is air dried and cured in a similar manor to biltong however besides the spice mixture used, what makes droëwors different from any regular beef meat stick is that it is made from a blend of lamb and beef with lamb fat included which gives a most distinctive flavour, and because the Karroo is the premier area for sheep farming in South Africa, Karroo droëwors is where the very best droewors is produced and Bledie Lekker brand droëwors compares to this as being the only true droëwors made in the USA

Boerewors (Farmers Sausage) also called Wors or Boerie is the most dominant fresh sausage made in South Africa and is totally unique in flavor
In the very early days boerewors would have been made out of a mixture of any left over meats however today traditional boerewors is a coarse blend of pork and beef with some diced spek (fatback) being added for texture and flavor, the meat and casing content is regulated in South Africa in order to maintain the integrity of the product being called boerewors as in past history there had been some cheap adulterated versions introduced containing breadcrumbs/flour and fillers and claiming to be boerewors
There are versions of boerewors which are flavored with garlic, curry spicy chilli and even minced tomato with onion, however the original is by far the most popular!
Boerewors is the major component of a Braaivleis (Braai) which is the South African version of a Barbecue or Cookout, South Africans are fanatical about outdoor cooking and boerewors is along with lamb chops and chicken is grilled over charcoal or wood coals practically every weekend someone is having a braai in his backyard or camping site

boerewors braai

A popular addition and side dish a braai in the Northern part of the country is stywepap which is also known as pap & wors (stywepap being maize meal cooked with dry constituency so that it can be picked up with the fingers) this is often served with a decking of tomato and onion relish

Biltong, Boerewors and Droëwors Spices

The Spice Route
Four hundred years ago the Cape of Good Hope was a refreshment station for sailing vessels on the spice route to the east and all those spices left a great imprint on South African cuisine and of all the spices used to flavour and enhance the traditional South African meat products we have listed here, coriander besides salt and pepper is the common denominator, none of these products can be produced without this key ingredient and so biltong, droëwors and boerewors make up a South African gastronomical journey from the past up to the present and which has now landed upon the shores of the United States of America as well as the rest of the world!





Biltong Recipes

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