Biltong and rusks


The way to the East to buy spices passed the Cape. Many sailors died due to a lack of fresh food and Jan v Riebeeck was send by the VOC to start a halfway station and to produce fresh food for the ships to take in. The Dutch were now in control of the Cape and the elite ate food as  prepared in their motherland.

Poor v Riebeeck had a struggle. They planted vegetables and trees that could not grow in our climate. It was wet and windy and the local Khoi San refused to trade cattle with them. Later when they had cattle the Khoi San stole it. But the area had wild animals in abundance but they did not know how to hunt. They only managed to get some fish and wild ducks.

Later they inhabited more land and started more farms. Living improved. Slaves were brought in .

But alas nothing lasted and as Brittian ruled the waves they conquered the Cape and now the Elite ate Brittish cuisine.  Some families refused to be under British rule and the Great Trek began. The way people ate changed now to food that could last and this is where we will start. Biltong and Rusks ( beskuit) were made because it could last.

Biltong can be any tipe of meat cut into thin pieces and covered with salt and dried in the shade until dry. If spices like corriander and pepper was available it was added. These recipes were passed on and many families have so called family secrets .
Rusks were made like bread and if sugar was available added to make sweet rusk. Aniseed is also popular. The milk obtained after butter was made is also used. The so called buttermilk rusks. The rusks was formed in little balls and left to rise. When baked it was split and dried in the oven. Regarding the fact that they had outside ovens and large families it was quite a task.