Trois Frères Biltong (TFB) would like to help you better understand us and our biltong with more than just an 'about us' page. Transparency, we believe, is an important quality of a company. And we hope we maintain that. If you don't see a question you have answered here, feel free to send us a message and ask.
The answer and meaning to this question is going to be different for everyone. Where’s the beef? Is a slogan intended for everyone to understand, particularly the French. I learned that every French person I asked about this understood the words, but assumed no other French person would. I haven’t met that non-comprehensive French person yet. And how could I? The first thing I heard as I started as an English teacher in France was ‘Where’s Brian?’ So no matter who you are in France, you know how to ask for the location of something or somebody in English. And beef is not a far stretch from ‘boeuf’. Therefore, choosing ‘Where’s the beef?’ as our slogan seemed like a fit for all. It shows our anglophone origins, but is still understandable by the average French person. And one thing every French person seems to enjoy and understand is a pun ‘jeu de mots’...
Now what does it mean?
Trois Frères Biltong started the company by asking this very question. So not only does it include all of the following value (listed here), it also contains our story and origins. A few anglophones from literally three different continents sitting around a table asking ‘Where’s the beef?’ Why was it that something so normal, delicious, and dear to us back home was absolutely nonexistent in this first world country that is so open to culture. It was incomprehensible, and so we decided to remedy the situation. And voila, TFB was created.
So this tagline not only shows our origins, but hopefully answers the question other anglophones here, be it tourists or expats, are asking.
One of the things we also believe in is friendship and sharing. You go out with your friends to the pub or at an apero. You may see cheese, quiche, saucisse, but ‘Where’s the beef?’. We believe it has a place on the apero and tapas table just like the pig. So we are happy to help represent beef as something other than a sit-down-to-dinner steak or god forbid, a hamburger from an overpriced fastfood joint.
So next time, you’re at the bar, or going to an apero, don’t be afraid to ask, ‘Where’s the beef?’. And don’t be afraid to supply the answer.
Now what is the answer to this question?
Trois Frères Biltong, of course, whose site are you on?
The beef should be on your table, in your mouth or in a box on it's way to you.
Isn’t it like Swiss 'Viande de Grison'/'Bündnerfleisch'?
Yes and No.
Yes in origin of meat, being beef. More specifically the upper thigh of the cow. And yes that it is marinated and air-dried.
However, the marinade used, the air temperature, and the amount of weight lost can be significantly different depending on the producer. We at Trois Frères, for example, use a solution with a base of red wine vinegar rather than the typical white wine used for grison. Not to mention the spices used and process of drying.
Therefore, due to all of these different properties, the taste and nutrition can be totally different. Think of the difference between a croissant and a muffin, both are flour based and baked, but result in two entirely different pastries.
We understand the confusion and desire to call the two the same, as grison is the closest thing to biltong in the French market. However, biltong is an entirely new product, creating it's own category in the already amazing selection of charcuterie in France.
Does it have preservatives or colorings?
At Trois Frères Biltong (TFB), we do not use any colorings whatsoever, the color comes from the meat and the spices used… that's it.
As far as preservatives, we only use natural preservatives such as salt and vinegar. We are working on new flavors that may contain lemon juice as well.
So how is it preserved?
Don't forget, biltong was originally made hanging off the side of the wagon crossing the South African desert. This is before chemist even started making their own salt for preservation purposes. If you can imagine that Department of Health nightmare, we are a fantasy come to life. The solid and proven ways of old, simply salt and vinegar, combined with our specially made cold rooms and drying cabinets that use a fan, controlled temperature, and UV lamp, there is little to no chance of oxidation or any sort of bacteria growing and infecting while the biltong is drying into its cured state.
After which, the biltong is vacuum packed in a modified atmosphere removing all oxygen and inserting alimentary carbon dioxide and nitrogen.
In short, if you know much about food and bacteria, you know they survive and thrive like we do. They need oxygen, water and a lovely temperature. During the entire process, one of these elements is always removed if not two, thus preventing any possibility of contamination.
When does it expire?
You can eat the product two years later and it will be in good condition. Trust us, we've done it. Given, sitting in a plastic bag that long in a lost box may not give the intended quantity or quality of mouth-watering flavor, so it isn't recommended, but as far as possibility, yes it is possible.
More importantly, the explosion of flavor we aim for in our product with all of our ingredients being freshly crushed and ground just before the marinating process is best experienced within 3-5
months from fabrication. Hence, why you will always see a date of 3 months after fabrication stamped on the bag.
Which type of allergens does it contain?
We do not directly add any allergens to our biltong. However, our current recipe includes a sauce called Worcestershire sauce which is mixed with the vinegar as a solution to be sprayed and brushed onto the meat during the marinating process.
This sauce, while an almost given for working with any meat especially red meat, does include traces of sardines (fish) and vinegar based on barley (gluten).
Therefore, trace amounts mixed with a (possibly neutralizing) vinegar, sprayed on kilos of meat, may result in very very trace amounts of these two allergens.
We cannot even imagine this small amount could cause any reaction, but to err on the side of caution we are not marketing as 'sans allergènes' and have included the necessary info displayed in the ingredients on the packet.
We are creating a new base recipe without the sauce so we can proudly say we are without allergens of any sort.
Does it need to be in the fridge?
Biltong is best preserved at room temperature in a dry place. Once you've opened it though, it is best to keep it in the fridge to maintain the quality you originally received it in.
As far as conservation, you can keep the biltong wrapped up in butcher's paper in the fridge. It's even possible in the pantry or just on the kitchen table. It is best to avoid anything that can cause condensation. The longer you keep it, the drier it gets.
Like all homemade products, it is up to you to see if you think it is still consumable and to keep an eye on it. Even hard though, biltong is still very edible, the flavor will not be gone and in fact may be even more concentrated. If you do start to see little white spots, don't worry. This phenomenon also happens to camembert, and most people buy their saucisson sec covered in white stuff. To take it off, just wipe it off with a bit of vinegar.
In any case, once opened, you can leave it for a month. It doesn't go bad, just drier. And if you are more of a jerky eater, you know dry is also amazing.
Does TFB biltong make you fat?
This most likely does not need to be explained for any health nuts out there, but for those watching their figure and not sure how to do it. Great news, biltong is on your side.
Most snacks are made of carbohydrates, fats and sugars. Biltong is based more on protein, which unlike carbs, fats, and sugars, is not stored in the tissue (along with water). And since what little sugar and fat is in biltong is so minute, it is most likely used up in the process of chewing and raising a glass to wash it down that you won't even pack it away for storage as love handles.
I see the bag is quite small, is 50g enough?
Haha, well, that depends on who you are. 50g may not seem like a lot, but remember that 50g of biltong is just over 100g of actual meat. That's a fairly decent snack, I think. A small steak, chopped up and stored for easy opening with all the flavor maintained.
50g is also enough for a salad recipe for two (or three if you have a little one).
It's a good amount to consume directly after your workout for that quick protein fix.
And it is definitely enough to keep beer drinkers happy without the dreaded run to the fastfood place around the corner on the way home.
Bear in mind that protein is more satiating than carbohydrates or fatty acids. So one 50g bag of biltong will hold you over until the next big meal… or the next bag of biltong.
For the bigger fans, we created the 250g bags. Originally just for wholesale to pubs and tapas bars, but now also for you, to keep on the table and eat while watching the game, or bring to the next apero to share with your friends.
It’s an expensive product.
It is not.
If you consider the price of a kilo of quality steak and consider that it takes over two kilos of beef to produce one kilo of biltong, you can already see the value.
Add in all the extra necessities for (legally) transforming meat and you will see that we are offering the highest quality for the lowest possible price.
I understand that compared to a bag of chips, it may seem expensive. And when the potatoes used in a bag of chips cost less than a cent, I believe the chips are overpriced. Biltong is not a snack such as potato chips, but should more realistically be seen as an apero in a bag, or tapas that can be easily brought wherever you go.
Now, how much would you pay for such joy in your pocket or purse?
And let's not forget the nutritional benefits.
Does it have a lot of salt?
Salt is a necessary and vital part of biltong as a preservative and for its flavoring. Salt is the essence of the initial drying and curing process as it reduces the moisture in the meat.
We were very cautious with our first batch as far as preservation. With each new batch, we will modify the recipe with less salt and test it in open air and sealed for taste and preservation.
Once we have the perfect balance we will retest the salt content and update our nutritional value.
Does TFB leave a low carbon footprint?
Yes, we took the time to find and create everything we needed to make the biltong as locally as possible, rather than be supplied with our biltong from another country or possibly another continent. We do our best to keep a policy of proximity by making our biltong right here in France.
Our current supplier is Alazard & Roux, who proudly supplies us only French meat. The first question we were asked by our new customers was the origin of meat, and despite starting with a supplier in France who from time to time bought meat elswhere in Europe, the people seemed hesitant. We have heard their voices and now only buy and transform our biltong from born and raised French cows. To go one step further, our cows are all from the south of France, meaning we are keeping it green for you and for our environment.
All of our spices are also from France. We are in contact with a few bio epiceries in Marseille to create direct contact with their suppliers and aim for a lasting partnership with them. If nothing else, Sully and Warren are both gardeners who plant and harvest every year. No pesticides used, just a daily check for snails and caterpillars who find their way in.
And lastly, biltong being a natural and artisan process, we use the minimum amount of energy necessary (except human energy of course ;).
Do you follow any chemical process?
Nothing fancy or crazy on our end. It is a simple and natural process. We cut, marinate, dry, slice, bag and then send it to you. Along the way there are no chemicals in contact. Clean hands and work environment, surfaces always wiped down with white vinegar.
We make the effort to worry, so you don't have to.
For our professional clients, it is best to contact us directly by phone or email:
(+33)9 86 47 97 27
If you or somebody you know would like to sell TF biltong or use it for their tapas bar or restaurant, please give us a ring and we can see if we are a fit.
How do I eat it?
Biltong is great in that it is all 'ready-to-eat'. No need to spice it up, we've done that for you. No need to cook it, in fact, never mention cooking it to a South African. It is inclusive and ready to be paired with your favorite beer or wine.
We of course want you to enjoy biltong in whichever way you see fit. Biltong comes from a marriage of cultures and we would love to hear what you've done with it. We will regularly post recipes ourselves and if you send us one you really like, we'll happily post it for the French Biltong community and give you the credit you deserve or keep it anonymous should you so wish.
What about my kids?
Children from around the world having been growing up on biltong (and jerky) for centuries. We are two of them here at TFB.
Not only do children love it, but how happy would you be knowing your son or daughter is eating a snack that is full of natural protein and low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates?
They'll always love cookies, chocolate and pastries. But if you give them a chance, they'll always love biltong too. The founders of TFB are proof of that.
Will Trois Frères Biltong launch more varieties?
Yes. We are just getting started. Two types of biltong you will always find is original and chili. So don't fix something if it isn't broken. We know how it is supposed to taste and therefore didn't take too long to find a winning recipe.
Now that we have that recipe, we are working on making it even more healthy and tasty. While also brainstorming and testing other unique flavors to give everybody a biltong that they can relate to.
For the moment we only market Tasty Original and Chili Garlic in two sizes. But we are open to demands (for example if you prefer us leave it in stick form without slicing).
If you have a good idea that you would like us to hear about, feel free to give us a shout and who knows, you just may be responsible for the next addition of the Trois Frères Biltong selection.