History of Biltong

TASTE OF

Biltong….you’re probably thinking to yourself this is the strangest word you have ever heard, let alone try and pronounce, and you’re right!   “Bil – Tong” as it is pronounced, is the world’s tastiest and most succulent dry-cured beef.  Similar to jerky, but oh so different in texture, flavor and taste.

Truth is, Biltong is a unique word indigenous to South Africa that originated over 300 years ago when the Dutch and French settlers established colonies in the Western Cape.  For survival, the technique of dry-preserving meat was routinely practiced by the settlers.  Strips of beef were cured in a recipe of vinegar, coriander, salt, pepper and cloves, and then hung up to air-dry.  The end result was tender and succulent dry-aged beef strips, made from the finest natural ingredients around, and a meat product that could last for days without spoiling.

But it wasn’t just beef that made for good Biltong, wild game (such as Eland, Kudu and Springbuck) quickly became a favorite among many of the settlers due to the slow growth in their heads of cattle.  Thus started the thriving lust for Biltong product made from various species of game  So began a nation’s “love affair” with Biltong that today it is enjoyed by all walks of like, both young and old.  It is often served at parties and special events, in kid’s lunch boxes, carried around as a protein snack by competitive athletes, and more often than not enjoyed by all lovers of sport and the great outdoors.

We are an active family and we love the outdoors… and frankly, who doesn’t! From snow boarding trips to Utah and Mammoth, or camping excursions to Yosemite and Big Sur, or even a simple rendezvous at the beach, we come prepared. Our trusty biltong tags along wherever we go and we feel good knowing that we are consuming the healthiest protein snack around. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do, and we look forward to seeing your Biltong journeys whether it be boarding, biking, hiking, or wherever your adventure takes you!

 

Cheers, Brent & April

OUR STORY

From humble beginnings where Brent was born and raised in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Brent and his dad up close and personal with the Cheetahs at the Seaview Game Park

Two lovebirds having fun snowboarding up in Mammoth Mountain.

Coastal camp trip and scenic hike up in Big Sur, California.

Growing up in South Africa during the 70s and 80s was a memorable time for Brent.  As young kids they got to visit their Grandfather’s cattle farm, Lemoenkraal, nestled in the dense bush along the winding Fish River close to farming town of Grahamstown.  They also spent many special moments exploring the rugged Cape “wilderness” with their father who was an avid outdoorsman and hunter – and an excellent one at that.  From camping to fishing, their adventures took them to some unforgettable places along the Garden Route, the Karoo and the Western Cape.

 

It was on these bushveld road trips that they were introduced to the tastes of Biltong.  The farm verandas (or stoeps as they called it) were lined with rows of Kudu and Springbuck Biltong, and the distinct aromas of cracked coriander drying on the meat brought a certain excitement in the air.  Brent’s father (who was also a skilled chef) was a master at making Biltong.  Using an age-old South African recipe passed down through generations, he meticulously ensured that the end product was tender and delicious morsels of Biltong bursting with flavor.

 

As time moved on, Brent had followed his heart and immigrated to the United States of America.

 

April is a California native. She was born and raised on the beautiful Central Coast. It was across these miles of pristine, undulating hills, fertile valleys, and the untamed waters of the Pacific, that April developed her keen appreciation of the outdoors. She naturally excelled in all competitive sports until she graduated from San Diego State University. During this time while living in San Diego, April realized her passion for sales and started an illustrious 15 year career with the Fortune 100 giant ADP.

 

By some divine intervention Brent and April’s paths crossed in Miami back in 2009 and it was love at first site. Their journey found them moving across country in a uHaul truck to Orange County where they settled down and became proud parents to a beautiful and energetic daughter. Being competitive athletes their entire lives, Brent and April gravitated towards a more health-conscious, natural and organic lifestyle.

 

It was on their many fun-filled travel excursions from Mammoth to Mexico, Utah to Yosemite and South Africa to the Central Coast that they realized the lack of healthier “grab-n-go” protein snack alternatives.  On their first family trip to South Africa, Brent introduced April and their daughter (2 years old at the time) to the tantaizing tastes of Biltong – Springbuck biltong and Ostrich droewors (meat sticks) specifically.  Having never been a fan of jerky, April found herself addicted to Biltong, and so too was their daughter.  So started their “love affair” with the greatest health snack on earth…. Biltong.

 

The absence of clean, sugar-free jerky snacks on the American market, spurred Brent and April to explore the idea of exposing Biltong to masses. With a passion for healthier living, an eagerness to educate people on cleaner snack alternatives and a desire to bring about awareness to the growing health concerns that are plaguing the youth of America, they took the bull by the horns and launched California Biltong.

 

Made from the finest New Zealand grass-fed, grass-finished beef, their hand-crafted Biltong has become the talk of town. With their steadfastness in not compromising on quality, Brent and April are committed to providing the healthiest Biltong products on the national market that are 100% FREE of gluten, soy, nitrates, and any GMO ingredients.

 

We welcome you to indulge in this “revolution of tastes” that is attracting more and more raving fans of all walks of life to the wonders of California Biltong.

 

As we like to say in South Africa…

Snack Lekker!

Nothing like a little Half Dome on our week-long camping trip to Yosemite.

The girls delivering Biltong to Seaside Market in San Diego

Snowboarding up in Mammoth with the love of my life and business partner.

Scenic coastal hike with the girls up in Big Sur, California.