Take the idea of thin, savory, salty prosciutto and hold it in your mind. Now think of well-seasoned beef jerky, tender and deeply flavored. Now think about Frankenstein. Think of the unholy merging of those two foods, and you'll have a thing called biltong. Dried beef, grass-fed (of COURSE!), lemon pepper seasoned, some added onion for the fun of it, sliced so thin it veers on the edge of melt-in-your-mouth, and put into a lovely paper sack by Brooklyn Biltong. For you. For all of us. ~
For the true, true stories behind this incredible foodstuff, read on.
There's nothing wrong with beef jerky. Or any kind of jerky, for that matter (though for some reason poultry jerky hasn't captured my attention in the same way as "heartier" red meat can in its chewy and lower-water version). Jerky is tasty and for the most part pretty healthy (unless lots of sugar is added, of course).
But then, there's biltong. It's true that these thin morsels of savory seasoned beef are just about the tastiest thing I've eaten all winter. Just what in the heck is biltong? Ok, here's the story: first, it starts with meat preservation in Africa. Long before there was refrigeration, there was curing of meat. Take a nice piece of game, salt and vinegar it, and hang it up to dry for a month or so. That's about it. Slice it up for portability and that is biltong. Some traditional biltong is sliced thick and meant to be chewy (it's even used as a teething aid for babies), but others are sliced very, very thin like paper.
It's that latter kind that we have discovered here from Brooklyn Biltong, and it's why this stuff is so, so different from jerky. There's simply no "chewiness". Each thin slice, perfectly seasoned, barely takes more than a few chews to melt into deliciousness. While it may be sliced thin like prosciutto, it has none of the typical stringiness of that food.
What you get is tenderness, amazing taste, and real satiation. I'd much rather have something like this than a protein bar or even some nuts. But that's just me. Try it and see for yourself.
And check out their cool video:
Why Brooklyn Biltong is so good for you
My gawrsh, why wouldn't this biltong be good for you? No reason at all. Take the nutrients of beef from protein to vitamins to healthy fats and add savory seasonings to make each morsel practically leap into your mouth.
Here are some fascinating factoids about Brooklyn Biltong
How to enjoy Brooklyn Biltong
Because this is not merely jerky but a savory meat snack, there's so much that can be done with Biltong.
- Socially-acceptable steak! Eat steak in public!
- Sprinkle on scrambled eggs.
- Lay it on top of toast, with or without cheese (toast? Ok, ok, a corn tortilla?)
- Add to a stir fry of your favorite veggies
- Set out on a party tray with, yes, the old competition: prosciutto
- Have as a snack instead of other Whole30 approved bars or 'treats'
- Add to just about any savory dish as one extra bit of umami and zing
About Brooklyn Biltong, in their own words
From founder, Ben van den Heever, "Ever since I was a little "chokerkie" in Pretoria, South Africa, playing around my grandfather's butchery I realized the potential of biltong. Oupa Dawie was a very disciplined, lovable butcher and respected hunter that made some of the "best biltong" in Pretoria.
We would never leave without brown bags stuffed full of delicious dried meat for the ride home. In Africa, biltong is a household name, but I always felt that it was a taste that needs to be shared with the rest of the world.
Many years later I found myself living as a programmer and part time musician in Brooklyn, NY. After I met and married Emily we started our journey together in an inspiring city. We both had hearts for South Africa and its people, culture and traditions. It became clear that presenting a product from there would be an excellent way to connect our love for our current neighborhood as well as SA.
We made our first batch of biltong in 2012 as a snack for our wedding reception. None of our friends had tasted it before, but they met it with delighted tastebuds, and a demand for more! Their excitement in discovering Biltong led us to recognize the opportunity we had to make it more widely known."
More about Brooklyn Biltong and their work with City Harvest
"The company was built with two goals in mind: Introduce Biltong to America, and make a difference in our neighborhood while doing so. Businesses are in ideal positions to make widespread difference to the betterment of society, because their good deeds comes from their business passion.
We established what we call 'Eat and Feed.' Because Biltong is a sustainable, protein rich nutrient, we give away 10% of our profit in the form of actual Biltong to local Brooklyn organizations. We've most recently been donating to Chips, who works with City Harvest in distributing the Biltong into hungry hands."
Here are answers to some of your most important questions!
Is Brooklyn Biltong Whole 30 Approved?
Glad you asked! Yes, yes it is! As of late 2015, Brooklyn Biltong is happy to join the roster of paleo-friendly foods that are officially approved for consumption during a Whole30. Cool!
What other benefits await me as a Brooklyn Biltong consumer?
Wow, we're so happy you asked. Reading the package it is clear that this wrapper is something that will both put some smirks on your face as well as a bit of cred in your life. The biltong is grass-fed, it is socially acceptable to eat "steak" on a subway, it will lead the way through your next social hour and it might even get you to break up with that delivery person who knows the name of your cat.