A unique meat-based delicacy has recently grown in popularity, especially among those who love protein- the biltong. The market study predicts that meat-based snacks such as biltong would generate more than $9 billion in sales by 2022.
This article will tell you more about biltong, its potential benefits, and how it is different from jerky.
The snack came from South Africa. It is made from meat that is cured, dried, and sliced. Although biltong is new to the snacking scene, it isn’t a new product. African communities have been making biltong for hundreds of years to preserve meat.
The traditional biltong has five essential ingredients:
- Black pepper
Beef and ostrich have traditionally been the most popular meat choices, but other meat, such as pork, chicken, and fish, may be used. As biltong production expands, so does the variety in ingredients and flavor characteristics. Brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, chili peppers, onion powder, garlic powder, and other spices are possible additions.
Today, most biltong is made from beef, but artisanal producers occasionally provide venison, ostrich, and other game meat variants.
Nutrients and potential benefits
Biltong’s popularity is partly attributed to its excellent nutritional composition compared to other popular snack foods like crackers, potato chips, and cookies.
Its low carbohydrate and high protein content make it suitable for a wide range of diets. Moreover, biltong is also an excellent source of iron, a nutrient-deficient in many individuals worldwide.
Although the exact contents vary depending on the ingredients and type, a 28-gram or 1-ounce serving of beef biltong has the following nutritional profile:
- Iron: 35% of the daily value
- Protein: 16g
- Carbs: 1g
- Fat: 2g
- Calories: 80
- Sodium: 19% of the DV
Dried beef is also a good source of a number of other essential nutrients, such as B vitamins, potassium, and magnesium.
Bilton vs. jerky
Biltong is sometimes mistaken with jerky as both are dried, meat-based snacks. On the other hand, their process and ingredients are considerably distinct.
Jerky and biltong both use dried meat as the main ingredient, although the meats are cured differently. Jerky is typically smoked or roasted for several hours, but biltong is not.
Instead, it is submerged in a brine of salt and vinegar before being hung to dry. This process might take up to 12 weeks before the product is ready to eat.
Meat cut and ingredients
While biltong and jerky share the same key ingredient, each product uses specific cuts of meat. Jerky is generally produced from very lean cuts of beef, but biltong can be made from thin or fatty cuts, depending on the style and desired result. Furthermore, biltong usually is cut into thick, wide strips, making it easier to hang, while jerky is usually thinly sliced into odd bits that are better suited for cooking.
Biltong is traditionally produced with a simple blend of vinegar, salt, and spices. On the other hand, jerky does not have vinegar and is more likely to have Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and additional ingredients.
Although traditional biltong does not contain condiment-style ingredients such as soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce, some newer, professionally made varieties do.
Biltong is a low-carb, high-protein snack made with dried beef, vinegar, salt, and spices. It’s comparable to jerky but with distinct flavors and production processes. Meanwhile, if you want to incorporate biltong into your snacking habit, make sure to do so in moderation to maintain a healthy diet.