Friday, 11 May 2007


The Good Man returned from a week in South Africa last night. He came bearing gifts - clothes, treats and biltong. This last item is not necessarily your traditional duty-free purchase. It's air dried meat seasoned with salt, coriander and peppercorns. In South Africa it is the snack food of choice. Keep the crisps, but never forget the biltong.

It's best application is as a teething aid for babies. Yes, we give our children large chunks of dry, uncooked meat to chew on when their gums are sore. Unconventional, perhaps, but highly effective.

Anyway, my husband knows his girls well - he brought us 1kg of the stuff. We piled in last night, Bambi and I. She has grown very protective of her bag of meat - I heard her growl when her father got too close.

This morning, when the Good Man went to wake her he promised her a special treat if she ate her breakfast like a good girl. He had a bowl of warmed strawberries in mind.

'Yes,' she said. 'Biltong'. Good girl! its' the South African genes talking!

This also reminds me of a work colleague the Good Man once had - an American of Chinese descent. He came to South Africa on a business trip and could not understand why people kept chuckling when he introduced himself. It had started at passport control and continued on from there.

But then his name was Bill Tong.


Annie said...

This would be filed in the same category of strange eats as my mother's obession with dulse, dried seaweed!

Biltong sounds like beef jerky that I see over here.

Poor Bill Tong!

jenny said...

Ah... we all have our favorite eats that cannot be found anywhere. I personally love rhubarb and it's a northern thing where I come from. People from the south generally have not heard of it. I make the best rhubarb pies, but Hubby, a southerner doesnt care for it. More for me! I am working it into meals here and there to get the girls to love it as much as I do!

Amy said...

My husband is a biltong fanatic as well. He even crafted his own little drying machine so he could make it himself, not being able to obtain it any other way. For my part, it tastes okay, but the meat keeps getting caught between my teeth!

lady macleod said...

LOL send along a bit of the treat for the new kitty here. He thinks my finger is a teething ring!

The Good Woman said...

Dulse? I thought dried seaweed was Nori?

Jenny, I have a rhubarb plant in my garben which is currently in full, red-stalked, big leaved readiness to be turned into rhubarb crumble. I'll maybe give it a try this weekend and get back to you.

Yes, Amy, amazing lengths we'll go to for our fix. Has he developed a secret recipe yet? I keep meaning to ask, have you been to SA?

Best beware, Lady M. Those little teeth turn into needles.

jenny said...

Did you try and make anything with your rhubarb yet??
I have quite a big patch here and am thinking of taking it to the local farmer's market to sell off the extras. One year I tried to freeze it all and ended up filling the freezer and not eating it and come a year later, 90% was still in there.
I think I shall post some rhubarb recipes on my blog so feel free to check and see if there's any you want to try.
Happy Mother's Day to you!