Biltong has become so popular across the world that recipes are even being downloaded and cure boxes being made at home so that everyone who has taken an interest in this delicious healthy snack can have a little slice of Southern African snack heaven. Ember Snacks is a great place to get your hands on this treat, but what exactly is Biltong?
The History of Biltong
This healthy snack is a cured meat rubbed in spices and preservative and left to dry out in a special curing box until it is perfectly dried and safe for consumption. Biltong is Southern Africa in countries like South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe to save the meat from going off during the 1800s. There were no curing boxes, and the meat was hung on a line outside and dry in the sun. There was also no natural way to keep any of the meat from going off, so they used spices to keep it fresh and edible, and safe to consume for weeks after drying. It was also made for long journeys from the rural townships to the inner city that could have quickly taken days on horseback. The most common meat used was beef because it was both cheap and easy to come by, but also because it was a thicker cut that lasted longer than any other red meat.
These days biltong can be found virtually anywhere globally and can be made from various meats, including game, fish, pork, and chicken. Unlike beef jerky, where poultry isn’t a favorite because of its result, chicken biltong is fast becoming just as popular as beef. It is the most popular healthy snack for health-conscious people to eat and makes for great food companions for runners and hikers because of its excellent storage life and nutritional value. Fitness fanatics will benefit from the high amount of protein and its remarkable ability is to sustain muscle mass after a workout.
When attempting to make biltong yourself, it is essential to know how long it needs to cure it. Homemade curing boxes can be just as good as the ones available to order online as long as it has the correct lighting and there are enough spices on there to keep the meat fresh. Curing can take a few days to do, so have a bit of patience if you want the meat to be completely edible without any after-effects. Lighting plays the most prominent role in curing biltong because it fights off harmful bacteria and can be used to store your biltong once you have completed preparing it.
Biltong has made its way worldwide from its beloved Southern Africa to the UK and Europe and will continue to wow people with how delicious it is.