What is game biltong?
If you have tasted biltong before in the UK, chances are that it was made from Beef meat. Game biltong has the same biltong spice flavours but is made from game meat. In fact, the origins of biltong come from the heart of Africa, which is naturally known for its amazing wildlife.
There are around 91 antelope or buck species in Africa, today a lot of these and other species are protected in places like the Kruger Wildlife Park. But before biltong became a worldwide sensation, game biltong was one of the main sources of food for African San tribes.
Game hunting has always been commonplace in Southern Africa, these days it’s more sensitive due to poaching. But there was a time 20-30 years ago where African game biltong was commonplace and beef biltong was not.
Different types of game biltong in the UK
Here in the UK, it’s a different story, our game meat is somewhat limited to that of Africa. In fact, trying to get any African game meat in the UK is very hard, but that’s not a problem because although limited England has it’s own game which can make really lovely biltong.
When it comes the what the UK has to offer, here is the most common game meat that can be used for biltong:
- Venison: Six species of deer live freely in the British countryside. Only red deer and roe deer are truly indigenous.
- Pheasant: Common is most of the UK, they can usually be seen in the open countryside near woodland edges, copses and hedgerows.
- Partridge: The red-legged partridge is not native to Britain it was introduced in about 1770, using stock from France.
Is it ok to make biltong out of birds?
In short, yes! Pheasant and Partridge meat make the most amazing game biltong, we call it birdtong. Venison game biltong is also a popular alternative to beef.
The best thing about birdtong is that its sustainable meat, the birds are wild and naturally organic. We are taking this beautiful bird and helping to celebrate them the South African way.