Jim's Biltong is a brand of Temba Meats based out of Charlton, Queensland, Australia.
The company is run by Jim and Cathie Tanner who bought the meat processor in 2004. Temba Meats is what produces Jim's Biltong and Jim's Jerky. Temba Meats was previously operated by a South African couple who made biltong and jerky in small quantities.
Biltong is a similar product to jerky, and based on how many different ways jerky can be made, it's basically the South African variety. It typically relies open air dehydration, and instead of using marinades, it's salted and dipped briefly in vinegar, and usually relies on coriander seed for spice.
Jim's Biltong is available only in Australia.
Beef, sugar, salt, hydrolysed vegetable protein, coriander, spices.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light pungent spiciness, perhaps the coriander, along with a light saltiness.
The chewing flavor is much of the same, but with a touch of natural meat flavor, and a slightly increased saltiness.
The primary flavor that seems to come out of this is a combination of a light natural meat flavor, and a light coriander seed. It still has a faint overtone of something else pungent, or a slightly soapy flavor.
When I opened the package, this gave off an aroma much like corned beef, and tastes something like corned beef, but much more light in flavor.
But it's quite unlike jerky. This tastes and feels more comparable to a deli meat, perhaps like Bresaola, an Italian-style dried beef.
Overall, what you're going to taste is something light on flavor, quite unlike the saltier, spicier, and more flavorful American jerky. It's largely a light natural meat flavor, a light saltiness, and a consistent, but still light coriander seed flavor.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into bite-sized pieces, and sliced thin.
This is dry, but still having a semi-moist surface feel, and quite flexible. Chewing seems quite easy.
The chewing texture starts out feeling soft and tender. It breaks down immediately with the first chews and renders into a soft mass in very little time. At that point, it feels very much like ham.
Several pieces have bits of fat on them, but the fat doesn't really contribute much to the flavor. I don't find any pieces of gristle or tendon, and no stringiness to speak of. I didn't find any unchewable wads of tissue.
It's very clean eating, leaving no residue on my fingers. However, the package contains many tiny fragments which tend to fall on my lap as I pick up pieces.
Jim's Biltong sells this Original variety at a price of $35.00 AUD for a 500g package. That works out to a price of $0.070 AUD per gram.
For general snacking purposes, it seems to present a decent value. Compared to prices I found online for other Australia-based biltong, most other retailers are charging lower prices. And not having reviewed much biltong here in the USA, it's difficult for me to judge what value you're getting here.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Original variety from Jim's Biltong offers up a nice pleasant flavor, comparable to corned beef but with a lighter flavor profile. But unlike corned beef, this has an unmistakable flavor of coriander seed.
And it's seems great for snacking. Jim's Biltong has that addictive flavor that keeps me reaching for more, and is easy to eat that I just want to shovel this in without stopping.
As for being able to judge biltong, I'm at a disadvantage having reviewed only one other brand of biltong, "AA Biltong", over two years ago. And from what I can remember of that brand, Jim's has a very similar flavor and meat consistency.
I think a great beer pairing for this is a dark belgian ale. The coriander and the light pungent flavor of the biltong seems would do really well the dry, slightly acrid finish of a belgian ale. Try the Chimay Blue, or the Gouden Carolus Classic.
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