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When you look at a product as simple and tasty as biltong, it may seem that not much effort goes into making it. Then you look at the price tag, and suddenly it doesn’t seem so tasty anymore!
While it’s easy to assume that a steep price tag is a ‘ripoff’ or ‘unfair,’ there’s actually an excellent reason for the price of biltong. Today we dive a little deeper.
What goes into making biltong?
Firstly, biltong should always use a good meat cut, not a cheap second. In fact, some of the very best biltong uses sirloin, tenderloin, and other pricey beef cuts, or fresh-caught game meats.
The succulence and overall taste of the meat are key to each batch’s unique flavor profile, so choosing quality matters. Yet, as they say, quality doesn’t come cheap!
Once a suitable cut is acquired, the meat is marinated, rubbed in delicious spices, and carefully air-dried in low humidity to form the snack we know and love.
It’s important to realize that the tasty beef you buy at the butcher is something like 60% moisture, and much of the process of making biltong is removing that moisture.
This is one key aspect that contributes to biltong’s price– the manufacturer is paying for a lot of meat, which yields a lot less final product. Roughly, it takes 2.5kg of quality meat to make 1kg of delicious biltong.
What else contributes to the cost of biltong?
While the dehydration of quality meat leading to a low yield per kg is the major component in the biltong cost, it’s not the only thing that goes into making your favorite snack! Unlike many preserved types of meat, biltong starts with raw meat that hasn’t been heat treated.
This means that all good biltong makers take great care to ensure sanitary handling in line with all key health regulations.
Pair that up with the need for safe, sterile, and airtight packaging (which can be pricey) and an investment in only the best, most flavourful spices, and you’re looking at quite an outlay of cash to get that delicious snack into your pocket.
Lastly, of course, there’s the biggest investment of all-time. While biltong is deceptively simple to make, it takes time to cure a piece to the perfect texture and consistency for munching on. This needs a safe and hygienic space to allow the process to unfold.
All these factors together contribute to biltong’s price tag. While it’s true it’s not the cheapest nibble around, the key question to ask is- do you really want a cheap, manufactured snack that’s packed with empty carbs?
Biltong delivers you a power-packed punch of protein, flavor, and healthy vitamins in a convenient low-kilojoule package you can take anywhere without the risk of spills or spoilage. You’ll feel fuller, quicker, too, and find you’re eating much less than you would with a cheaper snack.
At the end of the day, it’s the quality that counts- and once you’ve tasted delicious top-end biltong, you won’t ever look back!