History of dry meat, Biltong & Droëwors (drywors)

The history of biltong dates back to ancient times. Bil (“rump”) and tong (“strip” or “tongue”) is a Dutch word, and indigenous people of South Africa like the Khoihhoi preserved meat by slicing it into strips, curing it with salt, and hanging it up to dry. European settlers in the 17th century used vinegar and saltpetre in the curing process.

Biltong as it is today evolved from the dried meat carried by the wagon-wheel Voortrekkers, who needed stock of durable food as the migrated during the Groot Trek.