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What are the different types of biltong?

When we think/say biltong, we typically think long air-dried beef strips, with a coriander and black pepper flavoring. From there, the next step is how its cut and ultimately (not) shared and eaten. But biltong has expanded its varieties in flavors, styles, and textures. Although biltong still means biltong, there is a 'biltong family' of products that are each becoming more popular in their own right, while many will skip biltong and go for a different favorite. And that's okay, as long as it stays in the family!

Presented below are some of the items that we are referring to. Please note: We will only review zbiltong products and all are a part of the 'Kosher biltong family'.

1) Traditional Biltong
Original. Classic. Traditional biltong flavor, cut into bite size chunks or slices.
Starting with the classic, we have regular biltong, the most commonly tasted and well known. Cut into strips, cured, spiced and hung to dry, it can then be sliced, cut into bigger chunks, or for the real connoisseurs it's eaten whole. The flavor is definitely best explained by tasting it, and will often be used as the reference point for all the other biltong flavors and products. Expect a unique coriander and pepper flavor, with a strong presence of salt, and vinegar from the curing.


2) Spicy & Hot Biltong
Same process as above, similar recipe. Just added spice and heat.

Hot biltong is most commonly enjoyed as Peri Peri, a staple flavor in South Africa. The Peri Peri pepper is usually added for extreme heat, but has taken on a flavor of its own. At zbiltong, we currently use habaneros and cayenne pepper for added heat, except for our Fire Poppers, where we just can't resist adding some Peri Peri in!

3) Chili Bites
Prepared in thin strips, with a unique chili pepper flavor. Chili Bites is a hot flavor.

What we like to call "the best-kept secret of biltong treats".
Chili Bites are prepared in thinly cut strips and served as is, untouched and not cut up after its made. A big favorite by many especially for anyone who enjoys a little heat, Chili Bites have a unique almost sweet chili flavor, with of course some heat that rounds it up nicely. Due to it's size and its making process, each piece holds all the heat and flavor, much like a whole biltong stick, just a mini version.

4) Droewors
Dried out Boerewors, famous South African sausage. Soft and easiest to eat. Available in Traditional and Spicy flavors.

Pronounced 'droo-a-vors' and also known as 'dry vors' or 'dryvors', this is a dried out version of the famous South African sausage called boerewors. Being a dried sausage that starts off as ground beef, it's going to have a higher fat content than regular biltong, and is also a lot softer and easier to eat. The flavor is more intense as the spice is mixed in and not only on the outer area. Spicy Droewors is all the same, with some added pepper that gives an added kick, although a more mild one.

5) JOPS
Just One Piece. Slabs. An 8oz piece to slice on your own. Available in Traditional and Spicy flavors.

Biltong slabs are a more recent phenomenon, and each biltong maker will have their own methods and style. We can only share with you what zbiltong slabs are like, and how they're best eaten. Notice the term biltong slab, and not an untouched, pre-sliced biltong stick. Whole biltong sticks have definitely been around a long time, and in fact a preference for many. The difference is they are usually shorter, and are made softer, as the eater will typically use their teeth and rip off long strands of meat. When it comes to biltong slabs however, its significantly bigger, and prepared in a way that best keeps the shape and size. The outer layer is harder, (while the inside is incredibly soft) and your teeth won't do well if they tackle it on their own. Use whichever knife works! Serrated or butcher, thin slices are enjoyed best! Available in both Traditional and Spicy flavors.

6) Fire Poppers
Prepares as bite size chewy pieces, with heat, some more heat, and then a kick of heat for good measure. 

Welcome to an original Zbiltong product!
Fire Poppers are a hotter and chewier version of our popular Biltong Chili Bites. Prepared in bite size pieces and served as is, without cutting or the like when its done. A closer relative of chili bites, it does still have spicy and hot biltong flavor, but with a lot of added heat! Yes, includes Peri Peri here, so not for the faint hearted. The size and chew gives it a longer lasting flavor, and a heat that will continuously kick in as its enjoyed. So be prepared for lots of untouched flavor, heat, and perhaps a new biltong favorite?

Read more

Making your own biltong at home!

How to store your precious biltong

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