Food storage makes the world go round (and makes humans go round the world). When it comes to meat, that means drying and/or fermenting. Yep, fermented meat; I said it. Now that doesn't mean something you'd eat on some traveling food show dare. No, on this happy snacking day it means a package of Droëwors, a traditional African beef stick dried with vinegar and coriander for a flavor punch that will take your smile from ear to ear. Each stick is pleasantly chewy with a hint of tenderness from the healthy fat and a firehose of umami richness. Eat one stick and share with those you love to meat.
For the true, true stories behind this incredible foodstuff, read on.
A person gets to know a lot about sausage growing up in Wisconsin. Summer sausage and bratwurst and hot sticks, oh my! There was another meaty treat that has only crossed my radar in recent years: Landjaeger. This Swiss or German recipe preserves meat as sticks with spices and vinegar for portability. Here's the cool thing: the idea of meat sticks with vinegar is done EVERYWHERE. That includes South Africa, where you can find Droewors, a rich and vibrant recipe for beef sticks that includes coriander for kick and vinegar for zing. The company Ayoba-yo (ah-yo-bah-yo!) was created to bring the flavors of their family's native country to the United States, and boy howdy are they getting it right.
The first time you eat a stick of droewors, you're in for an adventure: this ain't your typical meat snack. Neither overly salty nor weirdly moist like gas station sticks can be, this grass-fed beef baton is both tender and satisfyingly chewy. Tiny bits of healthy fat appear in the stick, only heightening the satiation. But oh that flavor: STRONG. To say these sticks are meaty is to say the ocean is wet. The grass-fed pedigree comes through, with just enough gaminess to make it interesting and just enough zing from the vinegar to tame the umami.
Interested yet? You can bet that a package of these will last but one day; order a few to be sure. Share with your family, friends, or even your co-workers. They'll soon be on the bandwagon and you'll be on the way to the next employee of the month.
Ayoba-yo's story, in their own words
If you were born in South Africa it is most likely that you cut your teeth on a stick of biltong. This is certainly true of every one of the van Blommestein Family. It is in our blood, along with the sounds, smells, colors and vibrancy of South Africa. Understandable then that we would miss biltong, boerewors, and droëwors so much. We have lived in the US for almost 15 years now and have found replacements for, or are used to living without most of the things we love, however, we were not able to live without our beloved meats.
So, we put our South African resourcefulness and creativity to work, dusted off the family recipe book, and got to work making our own biltong, boerewors and droëwors. What started off as a Saturday morning hobby between a father and his sons, quickly grew into something more. We subjected our friends and family to taste-testing (they certainly weren't complaining) and after some small tweaking of the recipes, we ended up with the deliciousness that you can experience today. It is a family affair and everyone pitches in at some level of labor or love to get our meat into your belly.
Answers to all your questions
Just what are Droewors, anyway?
Droëwors is an artisanal dried beef stick that is made with 100% ground beef and contains no sugar. They start with the best cuts of beef that are finely ground and spiced with coriander, cloves, salt and pepper. The mix is then carefully stuffed into a natural casing and hung to dry for over ten days. The result is a delicious, high protein treat that makes the perfect road trip or adventure snack that can be eaten anywhere.