"A delicacy - biltong" South Africa Local Custom Tip by Moirads

South Africa Local Customs: 136 reviews and 116 photos


Biltong is basically dried meat. It is typically South African, although one finds it in Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe as well. While the meat of any animal can be used to make biltong, you are most likely to run into beef or ostrich biltong. My favourite, although very difficult to get, and very expensive even if one can get it, is eland biltong.

The word ?biltong? is from the Dutch ?bil? (rump) and ?tong? (strip or, literally, tongue). It is made by applying vinegar then rubbing the strips of meat with a mix of herbs, salts and spices. This is done immediately to meat to prevent it from going off in the hot South African summers, and the biltong is usually ready within two weeks.

Biltong is usually sold packed into plastic as small sticks or sliced, but one can sometime also find it shredded finely. A butcher or specialist biltong stall will usually be able to sell biltong wet, medium or dry, while pre-packaged stuff is usually medium or dry. A butcher will also be able to sell fatty biltong or lean biltong according to the taste of the customer. They will also have the whole strips of biltong.

While biltong may not usually be taken out of South Africa most countries with South African expatriates will usually have one or more supplier of this delicacy in whichever country they live. Or they do as our ancestors did ? learn to make it themselves!

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Nov 7, 2011
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