Braaitime is a brand of gourmet cured meats based out of Keansburg, NJ. The company was started in 2005 by Warren Pala. Warren immigrated from South Africa in 2001 and sought to introduce Biltong to Americans.
Warren claims to be the only brand of biltong holding true to the old world methods. "All other makers of Biltong have followed the 'jerky' method in order to achive USDA approval. They cook the meat to a certain temperature for a certain amount of time". Warren was able to get USDA approval with the help of local Italians who had already convinced USDA inspectors that their prosciutto & capacolo are shelf stable.
Biltong is a type of seasoned, dried meat whose recipe originated from South Africa. Similar to jerky in description, but tasting very much different, it's traditionally seasoned with vinegar, coriander, black pepper, and salt. Braaitime sells biltong unsliced, sliced, and flavored in Peri Peri and Garlic, and even in Venison.
Beef, salt, vinegar, black pepper, coriander
The first thing I taste is a combination of vinegar and coriander. A light saltiness comes in, while the coriander continues to pick up. There's also a faint tangines. The chewing brings on the natural meat flavors.
Compared to other brands of biltong I've reviewed, this definitely has more of the natural meat flavors. Think of the flavor of fresh, deli roasted beef, with light seasonings of salt, vinegar, and coriander.
There's no heat to speak of, it's very mild.
The meat consistency is excellent. It has a more dry, exterior much like American style beef jerky, but a soft, moist interior that chews like prime rib cooked medium-rare. There are light streaks of fat visible inside the meat, and a significant strip of fat on the outside. I'm told that streaks and strips of fat are an important flavor and texture component.
Slicing up this chunk of meat requires a well-sharpened knife, or else you may find it a challenge. But I think that slicing it yourself allows you to get thicker slices which I found results in more natural meat flavor.
The pre-sliced variety of biltong sold by Braaitime tends to taste a little more strong on seasonings including salt.
Other Biltong Flavors
Braaitime also offers biltong in the following flavors:
Wet & Fatty: Tastes much like the original biltong, but just a bit more moist and oily.
Garlic: Definitely a noticeable garlic presence, but not overpowering.
Peri Peri: This is the South African style of red pepper spice, similar to cayenne, but more earthy. I pick up a clear flavor of Peri Peri, along with a medium level of heat.
Venison: Presumably made from venison (although the ingredients list says "beef"), this is much more dry, and has a much different flavor. It's more salty, and has a meat flavor comparable to venison. Gamey and earthy, I'd recommend only buying this along with the company's original biltong to compare.
This biltong from Braaitime is simply amazing! I love the more dry, chewier exterior mixing into the soft, moist interior. The light seasonings give off just enough flavor to create that classic biltong flavor, but keeps the emphasis on the natural meat flavor.
You can buy this biltong pre-sliced, but I recommend buying the unsliced, and slicing it yourself to get the full experience of slicing it thick and getting the full meat flavor.
I really liked the Peri Peri, but if you want something more mild, get the Garlic.
Buy this online: