The Passion Behind the Quintessential South African Biltong Snack

Heritage Month is a time to honour the various cultures and diversity in South Africa, from our exciting arts and culture to music and other creative expressions of national heritage. Historic trade routes brought culinary delights from all over the world, as influences of the British, Dutch, French, and Malay combined with the traditional flavours of Africa. Our diverse melting pot of cultures may have greatly influenced our food culture, but there is nothing more uniquely South African than enjoying a delicious biltong snack.

As a nation, snacking on biltong is a tradition that transcends racial, cultural, religious, and social boundaries. From droëwors and snapstix to moist, sliced biltong and even powdered biltong, the South African love for this delicious cured meat runs deep.

Biltong is perfect to snack on with friends while watching sport, it makes a delicious accompaniment to a cheese platter, it’s the ideal padkos, and is even given to babies to chew on while they are teething. Eaten on its own or added to just about any dish as an alternative to ham or beef, biltong and droëwors form an integral part of South Africa’s food culture.

Biltong’s origins can be traced back to the 1600s when early Dutch settlers were developing a way to preserve their meat. The creation of both biltong and droëwors through the curing of the meat in a vinegar brine base, before spicing it with coriander, salt, pepper, and sugar, was ingenious as it solved the problem of preserving meat and keeping it edible for long periods of time. Even the word ‘biltong’ is derived from the Dutch word ‘bil’ meaning ‘rump’ and ‘tong’ meaning ‘strip’.

This century-old curing method that preserves the integrity of the meat was passed down through generations and perfected by J&M Famous Biltong, a pioneer in the production of South Africa’s favourite snack.

J&M is passionate about quality, service, and customer experience and their carefully selected A-Grade beef is expertly prepared with a range of secret herbs and spices in a world-class factory, before being beautifully packaged to be taken home. Their passion and family values have established them as a household name, providing high-quality biltong and droëwors snacks to millions of South Africans since 1942.

J&M Biltong is so passionate about what they do, that they have created innovative ways to add biltong to everyday recipes. One of their favourite recipes is Chilli Biltong and Balsamic Braai Broodjies, the perfect side dish to your Heritage Day braai.

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