Drying meat dates back to the Paleolithic…. Since mankind exists they hunted and meat had to be preserved by sundrying, salting, spicing, smking or curing.
But the is a moment in our history were dry meat lived its momentum: the colonialism. Mainly in African and America; when advancing inland they had to kill the cows and the remaining meat had to be preserved with the resources available. In this moment is when the 2 leading snacks worldwide were developped: Jerky in North America and Biltong in South Africa.
Jerky used to be smoked and salted while Biltong (word with dutch origin that means “bil”= strip of meat, “tong” = cow buttock) took advantage of its rich spice heritage due to being the main Port in the Spices Routes by sea, being marinated previously.
Jerky´s evolution along the last decades meant a loss of quality and naturalness since it has been driven towards industrial optimisation. Thus its being cooked in an oven for about 6hours at around 71ºC. The result is a very dry piece of meat tasteless and odourless since most of its proteins suffer from heat and get denaturalised. This the reason why some sugary sauces are added and flavourings or spices. Its a very popular product in the US, mainly among lorry drivers, and just as Biltong, it´s part of the national pride. Main leading brand worldwide is Jack Links that exports across the 5 continents.
Biltong it is part of the South African´s DNA and its produced with all different types of meat, being beef and game the most popular. First step is to marinade with vinegar and covered it with spices. Then its gently and slowly air-dried for over a week fully respecting its natural drying process, and then its sliced into fine shavings or served as sticks. All targets eat it all times: from kids to elderly, from men to women. You´ll rarely find a SouthAfrican travelling abroad without a few kilos in his suitcase. Biltong is not so worlwide spread as Jerky as it has been preserved inside the country for many years just until the century change when it started being produced by melancholic expats. In countries such as the UK, Biltong sales are 75% of the market and Jerky is 25% only. Both together overcome the 18 million pounds per year. Crazy isn´t it?
Similarities between Biltong and Jerky
- Both are a beef protein snack (it can be manufactured out of other animals such as turkey, pork, antilope or ostrich, just to name a few)
- Both have a high protein content and a low fat, calorie and carb content. Though curiously enough the market leader JACK LINKS has a lower protein profile and an excessive level of carbs (16g-25g every 100g) as consequence of the sugary sauces added, that jeopardises the nutritional profile.
- Natural source of iron, vitamins B and aminoacids.
- Convinience: usually sold in handy out-of-home bags easy to carry.
Differences between Biltong and Jerky
- Meat Origin: Jerky uses the cow´s neck – cheaper and more fibrous – while biltong is amde with silverside which is a lean prime part of the cow full of flavour and with a smooth texture.
- Drying process: Jerky as stated before is dried in an ovean at around 71ºC for 6h and usually had a final 10min heat shock of 135ºC according to production standards. Biltong air-dries gently and slowly at room temperature (30-35ºC) for about a week. Biltong´s production process ensures the protein quality thus ensuring High Biological Value Proteins (HBVP) while Jerky can´t because of overpassinf the 80ºC that denaturalises the proteins affecting both taste and smell (quinones), this is why the need to add sauces and spices at the end to boost the product tasting experience. Jerky tends to have added smoke flavouring.
- Flavour comes in Jerky our of sauces and flavourings added at the end of the drying process in order also to soften the meat while in Biltong flavour comes from its meat quality highlighted by spices and rounded or not by the vinegar.
- Concerning texture Jerky´s more fibrous and harder to chew, while biltong tends to be thick as well but much easier to chew due to its meat quality.
- Meat processing: Jerky slices meat in thin layer, places it in a tray inside an over and its marinated with sauces afterwards while Biltong cuts the meat in steak first and then they get marinated and spiced before air-drying them. Biltong process allows to elimiante the hemo group efficiently with its prior marination, the hemos group might promote cancer according to WHO 2015 reports.
- Shelf life: Jerky last for more than 12-18 months as its fully cooked and dried while Biltong is still a fresh product (if dried to tender or semi-tender) thus with a 3-6 months shelf-life.
Exclusive Properties of Kubdu Mediterranean Biltong & SaSaNa Biltong
- It is the only dry meat snack produced in Spain with Spanish Veal raised in the Pyrenees. Always check the meat origin at the rounded sanitaire number at the back. First 2 letters show the country of origin.
- It is the only one using real veal – though they might claim it in the ingredients list is a bad translation from beef tying to raised the perceived value. Almost all Biltong and Jerky use old milking cows with a strong taste and harder texture.
- It is a low carbon footprint product. Farms, slaughthouse and factory lay within miles thus it´s a proximity product. We use only fresh veal never frozen. Both Jerky and Biltong are commonly produced out of blocks of frozen old cows. Jack Links for example sources its US produced Jerky from beef from New Zealand!
- It is the only one that uses Balsamic Modena Vinegar GPI from grapes of La Rioja region (grape juice is taken to Moden to evolve into vinegar) giving it a unique & special aftertaste flavour.
- Its is the first and only Gourmet Biltong worldwide. Endorsed by its high quality raw materials and the Superior Taste ITQI 2015 award given by international chefs & sommeliers of 15 different schools.
- A mix betweent the Original Biltong essence thanks to its SouthAfrican genuine spices and the mediterranean local ingredients ending into a superb & unique Mediterranean Biltong.
- It´s the first Halal Biltong to be offered worldwide thus suitable for muslim people. The Halal process promotes as well the eliminating of the hemo group mentioned before.
- The absence of nitrites – as it marinated and free of any thermical, chemical or physical process – have raised the interest of nutritionists and experts up to the extend that the Catalan Oncology Institute via one of its spokeperson have categorised it as probably the best meat to eat in order to prevent any form of cancer.
At African Tastes we control the whole production chain from the farms up to the point of sale in order to keep our quality compromise in all its forms so you can enjoy it in a natural and healthy way.
Moreover we guarantee the best price/quality ratio. It means that we do not just choose the best meat for you and manufacture it gently and with all our love, but also work at very very low margins so you can buy it at a reasonable price. You might fins cheaper and more expensive offers but we can guarantee we offer the best product at the lowest price!
Hope all this info have been intersting enough. Please address any doubts to firstname.lastname@example.org