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Origin of biltong

South Africans always used to preserve their meat by slicing it into strips, curing it with salt and drying it in the sun.

Europeans settling in the seventeenth century added vinegar and saltpetre to kill bacteria. They began to call it Biltong. 'Bil' is Dutch for 'Rump' and 'Tong' means 'strip'.

Voortrekkers - Europeans who had settled in Cape Province were pushed inland by the British. Whilst there was a lot of meat to be had from abundant wild game, it would take time for settlers to build up domestic livestock inland. So the demand for preserved food soared - no fridges back in those days.

Dutch spice traders introduced coriander, and sometimes pepper and cloves.
So Biltong earned its place in South Africa's pioneer spirit identity - the hard and gritty way.

You can use most meats in biltong. You'll find eland, ostrich, lamb. Beef is most common nowadays and whilst many cuts are used we always use premium grass-fed beef from fully certified prime cattle in the UK.

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