Droewors and Biltong: What's the Difference?

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Original-Beef-DroeworsDroewors and biltong are famous South African snacks. These two dried meat snacks are often grouped but have some key differences. In this blog post, we'll explore the origins, ingredients, and flavours of droewors and biltong and help you decide which is correct.

What are Droewors?

Droewors is a traditional South African dried sausage often made from beef or game meat. The word "droewors" comes from the Afrikaans language, where "drone" means "dry" and "wors" means "sausage." To make droewors, the meat is mixed with spices such as coriander, salt, and pepper before being stuffed into casings and hung up to dry. The drying process can take several days, depending on the size of the sausage.

What is Biltong?

Biltong is also a traditional South African dried meat snack. It is not a sausage. Instead, biltong is made from thin strips of meat, often beef, marinated in vinegar, salt, and spices such as coriander, black pepper, and cumin. The heart is then hung up to dry in a well-ventilated area, which can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the thickness of the strips.

Ingredients and Flavors

The ingredients used in droewors and biltong are similar, but some key differences exist. Droewors typically contain meat, spices, and casings, whereas biltong is marinated in vinegar and seasoning before drying. Some biltong recipes also include sugar, not commonly found in droewors.

Differentiating Flavour

When it comes to flavour, droewors are often spicier than biltong, thanks to adding extra pepper and other spices. The meat in droewors is also ground more finely than biltong, which gives it a smoother texture. Biltong, conversely, has a chewier texture and a slightly tangy flavour, thanks to the vinegar in the marinade.


Both droewors and biltong have a long history in South African cuisine, dating back to the days of the Voortrekkers, Dutch pioneers who travelled inland from the Cape Colony in the early 1800s. Dried meat was a popular way to preserve meat for long journeys, and it became a staple food for the Voortrekkers as they travelled across the country.
Today, droewors and biltong are enjoyed by people all over South Africa and beyond, and they are often eaten as a snack or as part of a meal. Biltong is particularly popular among athletes and fitness enthusiasts thanks to its high protein, low fat, and carbohydrate content.

Biltong 100gWhich One is Right for You?

So, which one should you choose: droewors or biltong? It depends on your taste preferences. If you like spicier flavours and a smoother texture, droewors might be the way to go. Biltong might be more up your alley if you prefer a chewier texture and a slightly tangy flavour.
It's also worth considering the nutritional content of each snack. Both droewors and biltong are high in protein and low in carbohydrates, making them a good choice for people watching their weight or trying to build muscle. However, biltong is generally lower in fat than droewors, so it might be a better choice if you're trying to cut back on your fat intake.
Finally, it's worth noting that droewors and biltong are relatively high in sodium due to the salt used in the curing process. If you're watching your sodium intake, you might want to limit your consumption of these snacks or look for low-sodium options.

Where to Buy 

If you want to try droewors or biltong, you can look at a few places. Many speciality food stores and South African markets carry these snacks, and several online retailers specialize in South African cuisine. Some major grocery store chains also have biltong in their meat section.

The Health Benefits 

While droewors and biltong are often considered indulgent snacks, they also offer health benefits. As mentioned earlier, both snacks are high in protein and low in carbohydrates, which makes them a good choice for people looking to build muscle or lose weight. 
The spices used to season droewors add flavour and offer a range of health benefits. Coriander, for example, has anti-inflammatory properties and is high in antioxidants. Black pepper has been shown to improve digestion and reduce inflammation, while nutmeg is known for its antibacterial properties.

The Environmental Impact

While droewors and biltong are delicious snacks, they have an environmental impact. The meat in these snacks is often sourced from livestock, which can have a significant carbon footprint. Additionally, the curing process used to make droewors and biltong requires a lot of energy, mainly if the snacks are being mass-produced. If you're concerned about the environmental impact of your food choices, you might consider opting for plant-based snacks instead. 

Droewors 100gHow to Enjoy Droewors and Biltong

Droewors and biltong are versatile snacks that can be enjoyed in various ways. Some people like to eat them on their own as a snack, while others use them as a topping for salads or pizzas. Enjoying these snacks with a cold beer or glass of wine in South Africa is expected. You might try incorporating these with your favourite cuisine if you're feeling adventurous.

Droewors and Biltong as Gifts

If you're looking for a unique gift idea for a friend or loved one, why not consider giving them some biltong or droewors? Both snacks are easy to transport and can be stored for several months, making them an excellent option for gift-giving.
In addition, biltong and droewors come in various flavours and types, so there's something for everyone. Whether your recipient prefers spicy or mild beef or game meat, they're sure to appreciate the thoughtfulness of this unique gift.

Droewors in Other Cuisines

Droewors is not just limited to South African cuisine - it has been adapted and incorporated into other cuisines worldwide. In the United States, droewors are sometimes used as a topping for pizza or incorporated into fusion dishes. This cross-cultural adaptation is a testament to the global popularity of this tasty snack.

South African and Qatari Culture

Droewors and biltong are popular snacks in South African culture and are becoming increasingly popular in Qatar. These snacks are special in South African culture and are often enjoyed during social gatherings and sporting events, and as a quick and easy snack.

Ways of Enjoying South African Snacks

In South Africa, biltong is often enjoyed with a cold beer while watching rugby or soccer. It's also a popular snack to pack for road trips or hiking trips. It's easy to transport and provides a quick source of energy. Droewors, on the other hand, are often enjoyed as a quick snack or used as a topping for pizzas or salads.
In Qatar, droewors and biltong are gaining popularity among South African ex-pats and locals. These snacks are often enjoyed as a quick snack or paired with other South African dishes, such as boboties or sosaties. They are also becoming increasingly popular as a gourmet snack in cafes and restaurants.

Understanding Differences

While both droewors and biltong are popular in South African and Qatari culture, they differ in how they are enjoyed. In South Africa, biltong is often seen as a more traditional and rustic snack, while droewors is considered more of a gourmet snack. In Qatar, both snacks are often enjoyed as a gourmet snacks or paired with other South African dishes.

original beef biltongSeasoning and Preparation

In addition, there are some cultural differences in how droewors and biltong are seasoned and prepared. In South Africa, biltong is often seasoned with vinegar, salt, and spices such as coriander and black pepper. Droewors, on the other hand, is seasoned with a blend of spices that includes coriander, black pepper, and nutmeg. In Qatar, both snacks are often fortified with a blend of spices that reflects local tastes and preferences.


Droewors and biltong have their roots in South African culture. They are also becoming increasingly popular in Qatar. These snacks offer a convenient and delicious way to get your protein fix on the go and are a testament to the global popularity of South African cuisine. Whether you prefer the chewy texture of biltong or the crumbly texture of droewors, there's no denying the appeal of these tasty snacks.
For the best droewors and biltong tastes that you could ever have, Gastronomic Living has the perfect options for you. We also offer fresh meat and online orders for your South African cravings. So, what are you waiting for? Contact us now!