Jerky and biltong are popular snacks that are loved by many people around the world. They are both types of dried meat that have been cured and flavored, making them a tasty and convenient snack. But where did these snacks come from? In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the history of jerky and biltong and discover their origins.
The History of Jerky
Jerky is believed to have originated in South America, where it was made by the indigenous people of the region. The word "jerky" comes from the Quechua language, which was spoken by the Inca people. They called their dried meat "ch'arki," which means "to burn meat." Jerky was an important food source for the indigenous people because it was easy to transport and could last for months without spoiling.
When the Spanish arrived in South America, they discovered jerky and brought it back to Europe with them. It quickly became popular in Spain and other European countries. The Spanish word for jerky is "charqui," which is derived from the Quechua word "ch'arki."
The History of Biltong
Biltong is a type of dried meat that originated in Southern Africa. It was first made by the indigenous people of the region, who used it as a way to preserve meat. The word "biltong" comes from the Dutch words "bil" and "tong," which mean "rump" and "strip" respectively.
The indigenous people of Southern Africa used a mixture of vinegar, salt, and spices to cure the meat before drying it. This helped to add flavor to the meat and prevent spoilage. Biltong was a valuable food source for the indigenous people because it could be stored for long periods without spoiling.
When the Dutch arrived in Southern Africa in the 17th century, they discovered biltong and began to make it themselves. They added their own spices and flavors to the meat, creating a unique version of biltong.
The Differences Between Jerky and Biltong
While jerky and biltong are both types of dried meat, there are some differences between them. Jerky is typically made from lean cuts of meat, such as beef or turkey, that are sliced into thin strips and then dried. The meat is usually marinated in a mixture of salt, sugar, and spices before it is dried, giving it a sweet and savory flavor.
Biltong, on the other hand, is typically made from thicker cuts of meat, such as beef or game meat, that are sliced into larger pieces and then dried. The meat is usually marinated in a mixture of vinegar, salt, and spices before it is dried, giving it a tangy flavor.
Jerky and biltong have a long and rich history that spans many cultures. They were both originally created as a way to preserve meat, but they have since become popular snacks that are enjoyed by people all over the world. Whether you prefer the sweet and savory flavor of jerky or the tangy flavor of biltong, there is no denying that these snacks have a special place in our hearts and in our taste buds.