Biltong is a delicious, nutritious, dried, and cured meat-based snack that has gained momentum in recent years amongst athletes and snack lovers alike. Although you’ve probably seen it line the shelves of your supermarket more recently, it’s not a new phenomenon. In fact, the native people of South Africa have been making Biltong for over 400 years!
Is Biltong The Same As Jerky?
If I had to (and I mean HAD to) compare Biltong to something, then we’d compare it to Biltong. But only because they’re both dried, cured meat-based snacks that primarily use beef as their main ingredient. When it comes to how they’re both made and taste they’re worlds apart.
How Do Biltong And Jerky Differ?
I’m glad you asked! Although the two snacks use beef as their main source of protein, the cuts they use are different. Jerky is usually made from lean strips of beef, which is what gives it its chewy texture, whereas Biltong can be made using all sorts of cuts depending on the desired outcome. If you’ve ever had a proper look down the supermarket aisles, you’ll notice that Biltong may have a texture called out on the packet, and this comes from the cut of meat used.
As well as the cuts of meat, the ingredients used to marinate both Biltong and Jerky are different too. Biltong uses an age-old recipe used for hundreds of years which features a blend of salt, pepper, vinegar, and natural spices such as cloves and coriander before being hung up to air dry whereas Jerky uses salt, spices, sugars, and sauces to enhance the flavour of the meat after it’s been smoked or cooked in a dehydrator.
The difference in meat and ingredients leads to the difference in taste – Jerky is chewier and smokier due to the cooking process whereas Biltong is richer and easier on the palette. If you’re interested in ordering biltong, then consider buying biltong boxes.
I’ve Heard That Biltong Is Healthy, Is It True?
100% – Biltong is one of the healthiest grab-and-go snacks you can eat. Not only is it incredibly flavoursome, but it’s packed full of natural proteins, is incredibly low in fat and contains zero sugar making it a popular choice for anyone looking to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Although the exact nutrients depend on the brand and type of meat used, the typical nutrition profile of an 100g serving is:
- Calories 257
- Carbs 0.9 gram
- Protein 53.9 grams
- Fat 4.0 grams
As well as being a healthier grab-and-go snack, Biltong also has a tonne of other fantastic benefits too, including:
- Lower calories than most popular snacks, making it a great option when hunger hits
- It stores well, meaning it’s great to keep in your gym bag or the perfect companion for a long hike
- High in Vitamin B12, which is essential for healthy blood and nerve cells as well as cell reproduction
- Great for teething children – that’s right! Because you can purchase a chewy variety it makes a great option for little ones to nibble on when teeth are coming through
- Perfect for pregnant women as it is high in vitamins and folic acid (although moist Biltong is not recommended)
- Fantastic source of iron
Is Biltong Only Made From Beef?
Walk down any supermarket aisle in the UK and you will see plenty of Beef Biltong options as it’s relatively easy to obtain and is low-cost. However, Biltong can be made from lots of different meats and traditionally was made using Kudu.
Is Biltong For Someone Like Me?
The great thing about Biltong is that it fits a variety of lifestyles – from children to pregnant women, athletes to those having a beer in a bar with their mates, Biltong is a snack that everyone can enjoy. Because it has tonnes of health benefits, it makes the perfect snack for many people from many walks of life.
Although Biltong is one of the healthier snacks that you can enjoy, I still recommend consuming it in moderation. It is red meat after all.
We all know how incredible protein is as part of our diets – it helps to keep hunger at bay, repair muscles after a workout, and plays a huge part in how our cells function. Biltong contains everything you could ever want in a snack, which is why it’s one of the best snacks to keep in your bag or snack drawer.
If you’re thinking of adding Biltong to your snacking routine, make sure to eat in moderation to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.