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What does the word Biltong mean?

The name Biltong to us Brits is becoming a more and more commonly seen across Bars, Pubs, Restaurants and Deli Stores across the UK. We have in last few blogs discussed "Our Process" and "11 Different Things to do with Biltong" but what does the word Biltong mean and where does it come from?

The actual word Biltong is derived from the word "Bil" and "Tong". "Bil" for buttock and "Tong" for strip so in its simplest terms its a strip of meat. For centuries man has been looking for ways to preserve meat and Biltong is one of many different cultural ways to do this.

The History of Biltong/The Biltong Man/Beef fit/From our Farm

Rumer has it that the migrating African tribesmen, moving there stock across the vast open plains would place strips "Bil" under the saddle of there house the combination of the chaffing would tenderise the meat and the salt from the sweat of the animal would spice the meat, not quite what we do today but this is believed to the origins of Biltong.

As time went by the tribesman are believed to of started to add different herbs and spices to the meat strips to give its different flavour the truly traditional final version what we see todays made up of Salt, Coriander and using malt vinegar in the mix. In the mix they would also us saltpetre (Potassium Nitrate). The potassium nitrate in saltpetre kills the Clostridium botulinum that would of caused botulism whilst the acidity of the vinegar inhibits the growth.


The first Biltong to made is believed to of been from "Springbok" or "Kodu" both native species in South Africa and like to today in abundance and there fore plenty of availability, now a days you find that business like ours tens to use Beef for the same availability reason. Here we use only the very finest British Beef in all our products with full traceability in everything we do. 



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