I’ve been an UpNorth Biltong customer since December last year.
After my first order (Chipolte Biltong, Mild Chilli Biltong and Scotch Bonnet Biltong), I ditched my Amazon-powered Biltong subscription from a leading brand. I moved to this Scottish startup/indie instead.
Biltong is a state of dried, cured meat originating in Southern African countries. I’ve also subsequently tried UpNorth’s snap sticks and droewors, the latter being Southern African and based on spiced sausage.
I love it all, despite eating more plant-based food, and I recommend it.
For example, you know I track protein bars, and the best bar, out of many dozen, has 37g of protein for every 100g of weight. UpNorth Biltong has 45.5g and is 100 fewer calories.
It’s not all about the macros, though.
The big biltong brand I ditched for UpnNorth had slightly better, but this photograph should clarify why I switched. UpNorth is the pile on the right.
UpNorth Biltong’s food
If it’s not clear from the comparison photograph,
- UpNorth Biltong is a superior meat.
- UpNorth Biltong is a quality, tasty and perfectly cured treat.
Biltong isn’t for everyone, but it’s certainly for me. I can eat it as a snack but also for pizza topping, in salads or mixed into risotto or rice dishes. Heck, I’ve even popped it into instant noodles.
My first UpNorth order was good with the three spicy options, and I can’t fault them. Biltong is soft, easy to chomp on and folds around your fingers as you stuff it into your mouth. Well, that’s if you eat it as I do.
When I’m feeling posh, I’ll pair a pile with some cheese (such as Eatlean) and a spirit. Or, if I’ve tried myself to some protein and/or zero beer, it goes well with that to add some heft back into the mix.
Droewors is even easier, and softer, and I’d buy it more often but I’ve a tendency to binge anything that arrives in the flat – no matter how much. I have to limit my droewors to a few treat purchases, generally prompted by a rare but unheard-of UpNorth sale.
Lastly, there’s the beef snap stick, and they’re better with a recent new recipe from the UpNorth kitchens. Snap sticks aren’t so easy to eat; they are tough and fight back. I’ve stabbed myself in the face with them. In other words, if I want a snack that’ll slow my wolfing down, snap sticks are perfect.
If I had to predict the order in which other people not familiar with biltong would rate the three, I think it would go like this;
People would find the droewors the most familiar and most straightforward to eat, then we’d lose some as we moved onto the biltong, and then even more with the snap sticks.
UpNorth also have a whole steak option that’s sliced to the thickness you want, and that’s supposed to be softer and wetter than the biltong, but I’m yet to try it.
UpNorth Biltong’s service
I’m a happy subscription customer. I’ve only once had to email and ask where my highly anticipated box of meat was. I had only been waiting a few days longer than usual, and I got a neck day response, and the shipment was sorted pretty much immediately afterwards.
All small companies have logistics hiccups. It’s a test of how good a company is with how they respond with customer care to the hiccup. UpNorth didn’t have much of a hiccup with me, but they did great in sorting it out.
When my UpNorth arrives, it’s always sensibly packed and in good condition. I’ve even had pens and stickers in my order as wee loyalty bonuses or treats.
If you know you like Biltong and the South African-style food discussed here, then I think checking out UpNorth is a good thing to do. I also note, at the time of writing, we’re not yet in the frantic festive shopping season, but that quality meat that lasts would make great gifts for the right people or if you’re planning a charcuterie board for guests, then it’s also a straight forward decision to check the site out.
Equally, if you’re not big on meat, UpNorth isn’t likely for you.
If you’re curious, please give UpNorth or a similar brand a go rather than cheap and mucky because the quality difference is significant.
If you’re watching the macros, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a snack that rivals Biltong and goes in your bag.
It’s also worth noting that recent recipes are, I think, an improvement, and the very fact the company is still testing and improving is a good sign. I think it speaks to the founders’ sporting origins.