When Wian van Blommestein and his family moved to Northern Virginia from South Africa, they missed the meat.
Blommestein describes biltong as air-dried steak slices, like a cross between jerky and prosciutto. The meat is everywhere in South Africa, just like jerky’s ubiquity in gas stations and convenience stores here.
A Saturday ritual between a dad and his sons of spice blending and drying beef eventually turned into the family business: Ayoba-Yo. (The South African phrase is used to show excitement.)
The company now sells biltong (a coriander-forward flavor and a spicy version), droewors (beef sticks) and boerewors (a beef-pork sausage) online and at stores across the DMV. They also partnered with local Candy Drawer Confectionary to make a Yucatan chocolate bar with tiny bits of grated biltong. The way they sell it: “Better than bacon!”