Biltong Origins


Biltong is a traditional Southern African air-dried beef snack. It’s similar to beef jerky but typically made from thinly sliced beef, although it can also be made from game meats like ostrich or kudu. The meat is cured with vinegar and spices like coriander, salt, and pepper, then air-dried. Biltong has a chewy texture and a savoury flavour, and it’s often enjoyed as a protein-rich snack. Popular in countries like Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Botswana, and our founder’s home of South Africa, it’s also gaining popularity worldwide.

Biltong’s rich tradition is deeply embedded in the cultural tapestry of Southern Africa. Originally developed as a method of preserving meat by early Dutch settlers and indigenous tribes, biltong has evolved into a beloved staple that transcends generations. The name “biltong” itself is derived from the Dutch words “bil” (meaning buttock) and “tong” (meaning strip or tongue), reflecting its origins and method of preparation.

Each family had its own closely guarded recipes and techniques, creating a diverse array of flavours and textures unique to different regions and households. This tradition of biltong-making not only preserved food but also fostered a sense of community and shared heritage.

Founder Kyriakos has had a lifelong connection to this beloved snack. Growing up, he and his cousins enjoyed biltong as children, developing a deep appreciation for its unique flavour and texture. When his family later moved to Cyprus, his father continued making biltong using the traditional recipes passed down from Kyriakos’s family in South Africa. After moving to the UK and becoming a father himself, Kyriakos wanted to honour his South African roots by producing authentic biltong.

The Biltong Company was established in 2008 with the goal of bringing this delicious and unique snack to a wider audience. Family is at the heart of our company, and all our products are lovingly made using family recipes that have been passed down for generations. We also prioritise quality above all else, using only the finest meats and spices available and preparing our biltong in small batches to ensure the best flavour and texture.

At The Biltong Company, we are dedicated to sharing the rich tradition of biltong with the world. Our commitment to authenticity and quality ensures that every bite of our biltong provides a taste of Southern Africa’s culinary heritage.