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A Healthy Alternative to Takeaway Regret

Posted by rafael on December 21, 2012 in Health

We try not to think of the calories as we knock back the pints at the pub; after all, we want to enjoy the evening! But when you add on any bar snacks and the inevitable takeaway from the local kebab shop or chip shop, the calorie regret may hurt as much as the horrifying moment you open up your wallet to assess the damage the next morning. That can be one hangover to last!

The Healthy Pub Revolution

Plying our bodies with crisps, peanuts and the old-school bar snack favourites has never been ideal, and as the nation has become more and more health conscious, pubs have begun to provide a healthier, nutritious option. Small, bite-sized packs of the South African favourite biltong have begun to appear on our shores – in fact, they are now being produced here! The savoury, salty beef treat is now available in multiple pubs, supermarkets and service stations. As a healthier alternative to the calorific regulars that we have come to know and embrace as pub staples, many people are choosing to make the switch away from the tried and tested old favourites.

Going Back to Your Roots

Biltong traces its roots back to South Africa, where the delicacy has been adapted to feature in a multitude of different and unique ways. A meaty muffin might not appeal to everyone, but beef biltong muffins are just one of the variants which captured the heart of the country’s populous and inspired mass production for a worldwide demand. Other variations, such as soup will make sense a lot more to markets unfamiliar to biltong, but it is the classic beef biltong that is undeniably the most popular. The mass appeal of beef biltong has led to a successful transition to the British Isles, where South African ex-pats have long been calling for the savoury, salty snack. Eventually, after tiring of the lack of good British biltong, these ex-pats built up their own companies to meet the insatiable demand.

Healthy Alternative

Healthy Alternative

The British production of biltong has meant that all beef is locally sourced from the United Kingdom in order to meet the mandatory standards set by the Meat Hygiene Service and the Food and Safety act.

Taste a Unique Sensation

While biltong is often compared to beef jerky, the South African delicacy is much thicker, with a savoury taste. Along with the drying process during creation, the beef is marinated in herbs and spices, giving the biltong its unique flavour.

The nutritional value of biltong has elevated the meat treat to a well-known status not only limited to bar and service station impulse purchases. Athletes in training and mountaineers have taken to keeping packs of the snack readily available as a quick and easy source of iron and protein.

The massive popularity of biltong amongst the ex-patriots of South Africa led to a huge demand worldwide. Taking matters into their own hands, some ex-pats now produce beef biltong for the British market, enabling the popular snack to reach a much wider audience. The potential for growth was obvious to those who enjoyed biltong in South Africa, so it was only natural that the popularity would translate into international success.

Entering the Pub Environment

Bringing biltong into the pub environment as a bite-size snack has allowed for an entirely new audience of potential customers to the snack. With the health-conscious consumer preferring to prepare their own meals at home (although, be truthful, it won’t always happen … especially after a few drinks!) a healthy snack to tide over the hunger is always preferable to other types of bar snacks, or even *gasp* a takeaway meal on the way home. It is easy to see why a quick but tasty and nutritious snack would be preferable than what is potentially an expensive meal with little nutritional value.

The South Africans have been enjoying biltong for a long, long time, but the British market is only just waking up to its huge potential. If it continues along the current trajectory, it surely will not be long until biltong stands shoulder to shoulder with the other bar snacks in that classic question, “So, what are you having a packet of?”

Beef biltong is now readily available in the United Kingdom and all beef used is locally sourced to comply with the standards set by Food Safety Regulations.

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