Traditionally, biltong has been made using beef. This is partly because of the taste and texture it offers. Biltong is both sweet and savoury, with hints of rich spices, while the beef texture can be either soft and juicy or tough and crumbly. But it is also because beef is widely available and cost effective.
However, biltong can also be made using other types of meat besides beef. Chicken, game, ostrich and fish have all been used to make biltong. Biltong can even be made without meat. Mushroom biltong provides a nice vegetarian option that has a similar texture and look to traditional beef biltong.
Instead of salt and vinegar, which is used in the beef curing process, and therefore has become a staple of the biltong flavour, Chicken biltong combines salt, paprika, pepper, Worcester sauce and sugar to create its unique and flavourful taste. Chicken biltong can also be more tender than beef biltong, so if you’re looking for something that is less chewy and tough, than chicken biltong might be for you.
Fish biltong or “bokkoms” are made using whole mullet, which is a common type of fish in South Africa. The fish is salted and dried in the sun and wind, and then eaten after the skin is peeled off. This delicacy is similar to dried herring and can be used in soups, pastas, sandwiches, or on its own.
A vegetarian alternative, mushroom biltong is made in the exact same way as traditional biltong – using spices, marinade and then drying. Mushrooms also have the same chewy texture as meat, which makes them the perfect substitute. Like traditional biltong, vegetarian biltong comes with its own set of health benefits. Mushroom biltong helps improve immune system functioning, as well as helping to manage weight.
Now that you know a little bit about the various types biltong, head over to our store and start by trying our traditional beef biltong!