Wagyu refers to several breeds of cattle genetically predisposed to intense marbling. Biltong is cured and air-dried beef and originated in South Africa. The word "biltong" is from the Dutch "bil" (rump) and "tong" (strip or tongue). The Dutch settlers who arrived in South Africa in the 17th century brought recipes for dried meat from the Old World. The need for preservation in the new colony was pressing. Building up herds of livestock took a long time. Then was native game about, but it could take hunters days to track and kill a large animal such as Eland or Kudu and they were faces with the problem of preserving a large mass of meat in a short time in a hot climate during a period of history before iceboxes had been invented. Desiccation solved the problem Biltong as we understand it today evolved from the dried meat carried by the wagon-travelling Voortrekkers who needed stocks of durable food as they migrated from the Cape Colony north-eastward into the interior of Southern Africa during the Great Trek. The raw meat was preserved from decay and insects within a day or two, and within a fortnight, would be black and rock-hard after it had fully cured. Today we use climate-controlled dry rooms specially designed for a faster drying process still meeting Australia's strict food safety and health standards, providing our customers with the finest quality beef biltong.
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