What is Biltong and Droëwors? Biltong is the name for a traditional form of South African preserved meat. The name originates from the Dutch word BIL meaning buttock and TONG meaning strip.
Biltong has it's earliest origins in Medieval Europe and was thought to be introduced to South Africa by the arrival of Dutch Settlers at the Cape of Good Hope in 1652.
Biltong has no comparison as a meat snack and is certainly not "beef jerky". Biltong is a gourmet delicacy that South Africans love to eat and it is made by salting, spicing and air dry curing selected cuts of Beef, Venison or Ostrich.
Droëwors is a air dried sausage made from a mixture of Beef and Lamb and natural spices and herbs and is extremely popular in South Africa, Karoo Droëwors must contain lamb as without lamb there is very little flavor and it becomes just another meat stick
BILTONG, BOEREWORS AND DROËWORS MAKING
The variety and quality of biltong, boerewors and droewors sold in South Africa is extensive and South Africans take their biltong and boerie very seriously and there are also very many biltong and droëwors spice recipes out there however this is how some of the very best beef biltong is made
TIME IS THE SECRET ! but the correct cut and spice mixtures are also most important. There are many methods of drying Biltong however the golden rule is that heat is never applied to the meat throughout the drying process. Slow cure Biltong in the traditional air dried Karroo way and the taste just does not get any better than "Bledie Lekker" South African style beef biltong made right here in the USA!
If you have any Biltong left (most unlikely) and wish to store it for the long term then wrap the individual pieces in plastic wrap and keep in the freezer until required (This will prevent mould and further drying). Do not eat biltong directly from the freezer but allow a few hours to thaw as frozen biltong is tasteless.
WHERE TO BUY BILTONG IN THE USA
It is highly illegal to produce and ship meat products in the USA which are not USDA inspected (Look for a USDA Establishment Number legend on the packet). This inspection ensures that the biltong manufacturing process is approved, hygenic and that the biltong is safe for human consumption
The process of obtaining USDA approval for the manufacture of biltong in the US is extremely difficult to say the least (almost impossible) this problem has resulted in the marketing of jerky products in the US as being USDA approved biltong (jerky is heated during manufacture) however if you read the title and fine print on the "biltong jerky" pack you will notice that it reads "biltong flavored beef jerky" so please take care of where you shop as you may be buying jerky instead of biltong!
Furthermore unlike beef jerky, authentic biltong and droewors is never cooked during the production process and because of this USDA considers it to be a raw product and therefore demands that the package is labeled with a safe handling and cooking instruction (This instruction should be ignored as biltong and droëwors should never be cooked) This erroneous labeling is the only way that real biltong and droewors can be legally sold and distributed in the US and should you come across product which has no cooking and safe handling instruction on the label then the product must have been heated during production in order to meet USDA required cooking temperatures and what you have is not the authentic product (Unlike real biltong you will find that this cooked product in the USA has a bland taste and is more in line with the flavor of beef jerky)
There are many wild and wonderful claims made on the web regarding biltong and droewors quality and we have tried them all! but nothing comes even close to "Bledie Lekker" brand biltong, it's the only Biltong and Droewors in the USA which is made in the authentic South African way and you may find that it is even better than most back in SA!
When it comes to authentic Biltong, Boerewors and Droewors, "Bledie Lekker" is the real deal! there is nothing like it in the USA!
Biltong & Droewors Links in the USA
Bledie Lekker Biltong
The South African Food Shop
More About Biltong, Droëwors and Boerewors