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Exploring Beef Biltong in Perth: Understanding the Differences Between Biltong and Jerky

In Perth, beef biltong has thrilled the realm of gastronomy, virtually transforming the town’s local flavour and gastronomic sensation. With the increasing craving for South African delights among the locals, it is necessary to distinguish the existing snack from jerky. This article delves into beef biltong Perth, its provenance, and its uniqueness. More importantly, exploring the differences between beef biltong and jerky will be compelling while tracing why it has become a sensation among the locals.

History and Origin of Biltong and Jerky

Biltong” emerged in South Africa through air-drying the meat, as practised by the indigenous people of the Khoikhoi and San tribes. Initially, they dried game meat and incorporated beef, ultimately becoming an integral part of the African diet and culture, symbolising party and unity.

On the other hand, “jerky” was developed in the Americas by the ancient Incas and Aztecs by slicing meat thinly and curing it with salt. At the same time, the Spanish settlers imported it to Europe, where it became popular and essential among new individuals and cowboys going into the Frontier era.

Both snacks have unique features that differentiate them from other typical snacks. While biltong is a fundamental symbol in South African culture, jerky symbolises the heritage and survival of the Americans.

What is Beef Biltong?

Beef biltong, a classic snack from South Africa, comprises thin strips of beef spiced with vinegar, salt, and coriander, making it light and tangy with a note of saltiness. Depending on the producer, these strips can include black pepper and sugar and are then air-dried for many days to weeks to generate a moist but chewy texture that genuinely holds in the flavour. Biltong used to have a simple marinade and a slightly sweet yet mostly sour taste. However, over time, producers began integrating other flavours, making various biltong available in shops. Some producers smoke their beef to enhance the natural flavour, whereas others add spices like chilli, garlic, or barbeque.

For spicy lovers, biltong is both a delicious and thrilling option. Beef biltong is a lean protein essential for muscle growth and repair, with plenty of vitamins and minerals to help you. Biltong is frequently in the low-fat bracket of meats. Carbohydrates are missing at any rate, making it the ideal low-carb snack. Consequently, biltong is a terrific option for low-carb eaters.

What is Beef Jerky?

Beef jerky is a prepared meat meal. Meat is a generic term for dried flesh, or more particularly, dried and salted flesh. Drying thin slices of beef keeps it from getting bad by salting it with a powdered blend of seasoning and preservatives. The spice blend blends salt, crushed peppercorns, garlic powder, and onion powder. The beef strips are marinated and dried by smoking, baking, or using a dehydrator to complete dehydration while remaining chewy. The available flavours are mainly savoury and teriyaki in the market, but others are peppered and spicy, barbecue-flavouring, and mixes of sweet flavours.

Jerky can be made from different types of meat, e.g., turkey, chicken, or pork, and other types of meat, such as venison or buffalo, each with a unique flavour and texture. Nutritionally, beef jerky is a good source of protein and is low in fat and carbohydrates, making it a good snack for most feeding habits. It is portable and has a long shelf life, making it an ideal snack for most outdoor activities or quick bites while travelling or driving, wherever one needs protein or energy.

Biltong vs Jerky: Understanding the Differences

Texture and Consistency

While many people cannot distinguish between biltong and jerky by simply looking at either of them, the two snacks vary considerably in terms of texture and consistency. Indeed, due to the biltong’s long, finger-width pieces, the biltong’s lengthy and purposeful drying process leaves it much more moist and remains soft relative to the tacky, dry jerky. The difference in texture comes down to the variance in the method of drying the two snacks. Biltong dries and ripens in the air, retaining more moisture than jerky, which was developed by the vindication method. Opting for biltong Perth, a consumer will be rewarded with the softness of the cherished product and the rich juiciness of the meat inside. Jerky is a relatively dry product that has gone through wetting. Biltong’s juiciness makes the delight last longer. Unlike jerky, there should not be any moisture in it.

Flavour Profiles

Another significant distinction between biltong vs jerky is the flavour profile. Biltong is known for its rich and complex flavour, which relies heavily on traditional coriander and peppercorn spices and often invokes a complex range of flavours. Its longer marination and drying process deepens flavour absorption, allowing the biltong to develop a broader range of tastes than the relatively one-dimensional jerky. On the other hand, the latter can be characterised by a relatively limited number of flavours, such as the vital contributions of salt and pepper and the often heavy smoke flavour. The short drying time exposes the meat to fewer spices, and the high temperature densifies the flavours, making the taste more pronounced and warmer.

Nutritional Differences

Biltong and jerky also differ in nutrition. Typically, with the same portion, biltong contains more protein but less fat. Thus, lovers of these snacks can choose the leaner version and, within reasonable limits, consume more protein without extra calories. In addition, biltong is less likely than jerky to contain additional harmful chemicals. Thanks to its production method and air-drying process, the natural preservation of the meat without preservatives is optimised. However, both snacks contain sufficient protein to be consumed in moderation.

Cultural and Regional Variations

Biltong and jerky are cultural and regional dishes with distinct identities achieved through cultural and regional variation. Biltong is a preferred South African meal that individuals eat during traditional festivals or social gatherings. As a result, just like the meatloaf, the South African flag is conspicuous among their citizens. Jerky is externally conventional and consumed by everyone globally. Indeed, everyone has experience with seasoned or unseasoned jerky in an open meat market. Jerky is made from an animal’s meat; every region has its own meat types when choosing the desired animal. One area might use cow meat, while another might use bison. Each region also has its own traditional spices and mixture to dry the jerky.


Biltong and jerky made with beef have unique features that distinguish them as flavorful snacks. Biltong is flavorful and more soft-textured and meaty, while jerky is dried, chewy, and intensely flavorful. The beef biltong market in Perth has enjoyed popularity due to its variety of flavours and meat cuts, representing the city’s creativity and innovation in street treats. Whether you are keeping it classic or bold, Perth has a treat to offer you, as fans can buy groceries online. Appreciating the unique differences between jerky and biltong will inspire you to try both, as they remain undeniably unique. Succulent biltong and flavorful jerky will always hit the right palates. Therefore, enjoy that tasty treat in the South African snack, Perth’s beef biltong.

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