Note: For a live taste review read Florence Meats – Peri Peri Biltong (Review #1).
Biltong has South African origins. I purchased this Peri Peri flavored bag at Florence Meats in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. Peri Peri is a unique flavor to biltong, which is spicy, but not overly hot in flavor. The beef is air dried in a climate controlled, sterile cooler for 9-10 days, rather than using a dehydrator or smoker.
Florence Meats is a small meat store that opened up in 1977. They advertise as giving customers excellent service, where I would have to agree, they have a very friendly staff. It is run by the Goriup family, and has a family run business feel. Mario Goriup owned and operated a butcher shop in Johannesburg, South Africa for 25 years, before emigrating to Ontario. They specialize in many South African types of meats, among other things, and take pride in only using top quality meats from small, local Southern Ontario farms.
Ingredients: Beef, Salt, Spices
The beef used is not guaranteed to be free of growth hormones or additional antibiotics. Also, the beef is not guaranteed to have at least partial free range access to graze on grass. As a result, the highest ingredient rating that can be awarded is a Good (8/10) rating.
This ingredient list is about as simple as it gets. It is common for jerky makers to list spices as an ingredient, without having to actually reveal what spices are used to their competitors. Being a Peri Peri flavor, one would have to believe one spice is an African spice primarily made from hot chili peppers (peri peri peppers). It’s somewhat hot, but more of the slow-burn variety of spiciness.
There is no nutrition facts table, so the salt level is unknown. There is no sugar used in this ingredient list.
Salt is the only preservative used here. That qualifies this jerky to be sodium nitrite free. This jerky also qualifies to have no MSG added.
Good (8/10) – Ingredient Rating
I was really blown away at how delicious this Peri Peri flavored biltong was. The biltong, sold in bags like this, has an amazing feature, where it just seems like the meat melts in your mouth. It has a dry texture, cut into small, thin slices, which I believe was hand sliced. I did not find the Peri Peri flavor to be that hot in terms of spiciness, but I have a fairly high tolerance for spicy food, so let’s say it’s mildly spicy.
I have since revisited Florence Meats to buy more of their biltong. You have the option of also buying in bulk, but when buying in bulk, you tend to get strips that are under 20 days old. The strips at that point are much more tender, and do not melt in your mouth the way it would if it were 30 days or older. Either way is alright, but my personal preference is to get that dry jerky texture, and you cannot beat how it melts in your mouth, which seems extremely easy to chew.
The 100 gram bag cost $6.50, which works out to $1.63 an ounce. That would rate as an cheap price. I consider this biltong to be a major bargain, considering the outstanding quality we have here.
Excellent (10/10) – Taste Rating
The bag itself is very ordinary, not uncommon for a meat store that only sells on their premises. However, at least it has the ingredient list, a bar code and store details. There is a batch number that could be used to figure out the best before date. Being a Canadian brand, there are of course French translations required by law. I also purchased a 50 gram bag for $4.50.
Check out their web site: www.florencemeats.com
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