Ben van den Heever grew up in Pretoria, one of South Africa’s capital cities some 30 miles north of Johannesburg.
Now living in Brooklyn, N.Y., Ben and his wife, Emily, have started a business manufacturing a rare item in the United States.
The duo makes biltong.
“Biltong is mostly different from jerky in its structure and taste. The biggest differences are the way it is cut and the way it is dried,” Ben said in a release. “Biltong is cut with the grain, giving you a more tender, steak like piece of meat.”
The company, dubbed Brooklyn Biltong, details the process on its website:
Beef gets cut into strips then soaked in vinegar. Salt gets added. Coriander and black pepper gets added. Strips of beef hang and dry for 2 – 3 days in front of circulated air. Strips are taken down and cut into preferred format.
“The drying process of biltong is with dry air, compared to jerky that gets dried mostly by heat. This gives biltong a pretty authentic taste that is true to the beef that it is,” he said. “Bitlong is also msg, gluten and nitrate free. Adding sugars or corn syrup is also not a common practice among biltong makers.”
While the beef is uncommon in the U.S., Ben learned the process of making biltong from his grandfather, who owned a butchery in South Africa.
In its packet, the biltong is easy to store and eat in the outdoors, regardless of the situation.
As an added bonus, 10 percent of Brooklyn Biltong’s net profits go to the homeless.
For more information on Brooklyn Biltong, please visit BrooklynBiltong.com.
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