The next review on Florence Meats will focus on a 1.8 ounce/50 gram bag of their traditional flavored beef biltong. This bag of biltong was graciously submitted for review by Damian Goriup and his wife Carol, who took over operating the store from Mario Goriup.
Florence Meats is located in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. Slovenian-born Mario Goriup owned and operated a butcher shop in Johannesburg, South Africa for 25 years before moving to Ontario. He opened Florence Meats in 1977. The term biltong has South African origins. Biltong uses a unique blend of spices, and the beef is air dried in a climate controlled dry room. When you walk into their store, there are large strips of biltong hanging from hooks on the wall.
Ingredients: Beef, Salt, Spices, Mustard
The beef used is purchased from small local Southern Ontario farms, where Florence Meats is a member of Homegrown Ontario. The goal of this organization is to promote Ontario meat and poultry.
There is no liquid marinade used here. You could refer to that as old fashioned jerky, as opposed to gourmet jerky that does use liquid in the marinade. Another term is a dry rub.
Using the vague term spices is fair game, where the actual spices used are not disclosed to their competitors. As a general rule, spices are very healthy. Mustard is an interesting ingredient. While the ingredients in mustard can vary, in general mustard is relatively healthy.
Admirably, there is no sugar used in this jerky. The salt level is somewhat high at around 364mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky. Our preference is 350mg of salt or less.
There are no unhealthy preservatives used, which qualifies this jerky to have no sodium nitrite added. Really, salt is the only preservative. Also, as a bonus, this jerky has no MSG added.
Very Good (9/10) – Ingredient Rating
For the purpose of this review, the beef reviewed is sliced into narrow strips, which you could term as sticks. You can also buy the biltong as small strips, or shavings. Florence Meats will slice their biltong in any style that you desire. There are visible signs of fat that add to the overall taste, but again, you could request to have no fat. Handling this jerky leaves no residue on your fingers.
The first taste detected is the actual natural beef flavor. Soon afterward, that unmistakable biltong flavor becomes apparent. This biltong is not sweet tasting, and only moderately salty. It seems like a perfect blend is used where coriander and garlic are likely used. Overall, this biltong is extremely tasty.
For the purpose of assigning a price value, we will use the 100 gram bag, also kindly submitted by Damian, which is more realistic. A 3.5 ounce/100 gram sells for $8.00. That equates to $2.27 an ounce, which rates as an average price. Given that a healthy ingredient list is used, and this biltong tastes great, we certainly recommend this biltong as well worth your money.
Excellent (10/10) – Taste Rating
We have a non-resealable clear plastic bag that is somewhat small in size. The plastic itself is fairly thin, and not your typical bag that would hold dried beef. There is a label affixed on the front, and nothing on the back.
The majority of important bag categories are covered. There is no blurb about Florence Meats, but in fairness there is no room on the label, and there are no slogans. In accordance with Canadian law, there are French translations provided.
The bag listed at the bottom was purchased in 2012 for $4.50. Florence Meats has since added a nutrition facts table, Ontario Department of Agriculture stamp, and mustard is a listed ingredient now.
Check out their web site: www.florencemeats.com
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