Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dryvors and Biltong

New African Foods Week, continued:

 This post is dedicated to Andy and Jonny and all the other heroic vegetarians in my life...

Meet droewors (pronunced dry-vors) and biltong:


Biltong is a cured meat originally from South Africa.  It is usually made from meat cut into strips, spiced, and dried.  Unlike jerky, biltong is not sweet, and is much thicker than jerky.  It can also be made from a number of different meats including game, ostrich, chicken, or fish. Most often, though, beef biltong is easiest to find.  

 The meat has remained popular despite modern day cooling in Africa. There are biltong bars and stores in South Africa devoted solely to selling numerous flavors of biltong. Aside from different flavors, one can get different fat contents of biltong, as well as "wet" (moist-almost gooey), "medium", or "dry" (hard as a rock.) It is most often eaten plain, or cut up in muffins.  Biltong is also the primary thing parents in southern Africa use for teething babies.  It's hilarious to walk down the street and see a drooling baby with a hunk of black meat hanging from its mouth.  

Biltong is pretty tough for Jonas to eat in more than tiny pieces.  His favorite thing to eat from the butcher is something called droewors...


A popular South African snack food, droewars is made from (what will have to be a different entry someday) boerwers sausage that is corriander-seed spiced.  These dried sausages are not stored in the refrigerator, but instead make a great snack to put in a backpack when going on a long hike.  They usually come in approximately foot long lengths, and are typically beef.  They are still chewy, but much easier to eat than biltong.

Below is a biltong/droewors platter served at a local restaurant.  It makes me a bit queasy looking at it... biltong and droewors are palatable in moderation, but this is a bit too much for me...

Forget the vegetables... here are some nuts as a side dish!