Old Kalahari Gourmet, LLC, based in Dallas, TX, is a new business that sells "Voortrekkers Biltong".
The company was launched by Dan Lewin and is still in the stages of setting up its website. Currently, they have this biltong product selling in one store in the Dallas area.
Biltong is a South African-style dried meat, similar to jerky, but different in that it's typically air dried in room temperature for a few days, and cured with salt and vinegar. Biltong is usually seasoned with coriander seed.
Beef, salt, cracked pepper, roasted coriander, vinegar
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is an aged meaty flavor, slightly salty, with a faint bit of coriander and vinegar.
The chewing flavor starts with much of the same, but with a noticeably increased coriander and vinegar. The saltiness is just slightly increased.
As a biltong, it tastes very much like the few other brands of biltong that I've been able to review. But I think this Old Kalahari brand tends to have a bit more natural meat flavor, while the other brands had more of the vinegar & coriander flavor.
The level of saltiness in this noticeably lower than other brands I've reviewed.
As compared to beef jerky, there is a definite and easily noticeable difference in taste. This has the classic, vinegar & coriander seed flavor that most biltong brands have, as well as the aged beef flavor. Jerky typically has the cooked meat flavor, or the slow-cooked & smoked flavor.
The natural meat flavor also resembles something like the dry aged Italian meats (capicola, prosciutto, et al), whereas other biltong brands tend to resemble corned beef with its stronger sodium, vinegar, and coriander.
Some of these strips have noticeable streaks of fat that contributes a light fatty flavor.
The black pepper, mentioned in the ingredients, adds a light bite to the seasoning that I didn't notice right away, but came on after I had eaten several strips.
Overall, what you're going to taste in this is a dry aged natural meat flavor, with a light vinegar, coriander, and salt flavor, along with a hint of black pepper.
These are sliced of whole meat, sliced into short, thick, bite-sized strips.
This is a dry biltong with a dry surface feel. The strips have a fair amount of flexibility. Chewing a strip seems mostly easy.
The chewing texture starts with a light bit of initial chewing resistance, but quickly chews down to a soft mass with little effort. These strips are actually quite soft and tender in the middle, while the surface feels dry. Once chewed down to a soft mass, it feels just like a bite of real steak.
I can see small streaks of fat on many of these strips, but they don't interfere with the chewing. I don't pick up any stringiness or other unchewable wads of tissue. It's a very meaty chew.
In terms of clean eating, I don't find any residue on my finger tips, and don't find much of any fragments of seasoning falling off.
Old Kalahari does not have its website up yet, and did not provide me with pricing info.
I'm giving this a best rating.
This Voortrekkers Biltong from Old Kalahari offers the same great classic flavor of biltong that you'd expect to find from competing brands, but it seems to offer a stronger natural meat flavor, with a lighter flavor of vinegar, salt, and coriander.
For a jerky-snacker like me who loves the flavor of beef, this offering from Old Kalahari is a welcome delight. Think of it as getting a great taste of natural meat flavor, highlighted with touches of salt, vinegar, coriander, and black pepper.
But I especially liked the soft and tender chew of these strips. Each soft bite releases their tantalizing flavor which beckons you to eat another piece.
As for my recommended beer pairing, I'd recommend a belgian, or belgian-style ale. Try the Goose Island Matilda, or the Gouden Carolus.
How to purchase:
- Contact Old Kalahari (973) 978-7419, http://www.oldkalahari.com (website still not online as of this writing.)