I can easily say that this year was a highlight for me, with so many trips filled in my schedule that I have started to use my home more like a hotel rather than a house. However, when I am at home I do like to spend my mornings in the pool, swimming for half an hour, and the evenings at the gym, doing different classes, like body combat, zumba or hiit, to keep my body in shape. Being active every day has also changed my lifestyle, meaning that I am eating less and less unhealthy food. I have even managed to go through a sugar detox at the end of this summer, which meant that my body is not craving it anymore.
One thing that I realised, once adopting a healthier life style, is that the protein snack selection on the market is mostly dedicated to people with a sweet tooth. Sure, I do love chocolate as well and fruits snacks are delicious, but they are all sweet. And after doing a sugar detox I didn’t want to get back to the point where my body would start craving again. The sugar withdrawal is very though!
So, when Ember approached me and asked if I would like to try their new healthy and tasty savoury snack I said a big yes!
What is biltong?
To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect when I first opened the pack because I didn’t know what biltong was. Unless you are a meat connoisseur, you probably won’t know either, so let me explain. Biltong is an air dried cured meat originating from Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia. The meat is flavoured with salt and spices before is left to dry.
Biltong does look like beef jerky but the difference between the two snacks is that the jerky is smoked and cut before being dehydrated and then cooked on a rack. Also, the meat is different. Whilst biltong can only be made from red meat, jerky can be anything really, even fish.
How does biltong taste like?
The Ember biltong comes in two versions: a classic blend of herbs and chilli. Ember biltong are strips of Irish and British grass-fed beef sourced from suppliers who are part of Red Tractor or Origin Ireland. Each pack is very low in calories and has 0 sugar, which makes it a perfect post-workout snack. The taste is very authentic, beefy, combined so well with the spices. The chilly version has quite a kick to it. The texture of biltong is chewy but tender, with a moist middle, each strip providing so much flavour.
I had the chance to ask one of the Ember brothers, Harry Mayhew, a few questions about how they came up with the idea of introducing a high protein healthy savoury snack on the UK market.
How did you come up with the idea of creating the Ember brand?
Haha. I laugh because it was quite a journey that took 9 months. It’s impossible to frame up the ‘how’ in a sentence, however I remember Jack and I being really clear on what we were trying to achieve. Premium, authentic, distinctive and something that represented what we framed up in “Feed your fire” – a brand that anyone with an aspiration to achieve and graft can associate themselves with.
What are your brand’s beliefs?
It’s always difficult to answer these without sounding really cliché but “Feed your fire” is exactly what the Ember brand is all about. Give everything 100%, even if it is putting your feet up. Make sure you do it properly and recover!
Most of the snacks on the market for gym enthusiasts are either protein, cereal or fruit bars, which are all sweet. How did you come up with the idea of creating a savoury snack?
This one’s an easy one. We started training for Ironman 2k17 a year out and our appetites started to spiral out of control (they are quite big at the best of times on a normal day!). We found ourselves snacking on a load of un-natural proteins and chocolate to feed the appetite and when we looked for something without the sugar, that was natural and had the protein count that we were looking for, there was nothing in the world of meat snacks that delivered what we were looking for with ZERO sugar and most importantly was delicious, so the Ember mission began!
What is Biltong? Many people might think of it as beef jerky. What are the differences?
Great question and one that many people don’t know the answer to. Biltong is the healthy equivalent to Jerky. It’s a savoury vs sweet thing. Jerky can have anywhere up to 25-40% sugar vs biltong which tends to be 5% ax. Ember biltong is ZERO sugar, which was super important to us when developing the product. Another key difference is the process. Jerky is cooked in a sugary marinade, vs biltong which is simply air-dried and seasoned silverside.
What makes your snack special?
Taste – We have a 2** great taste award. Only 2% of people achieve this award who enter. Quality – We use Red Tractor assured British & Irish beef. Sugar – we are ZERO sugar Protein – 62% protein. The list goes on, it’s a totally guilt-free snack.
Where are you sourcing your prime beef from and how do you choose your suppliers?
At the moment we work with one independent beef supplier based in the Midlands, who have super high welfare standards, in line with the Red Tractor assurance scheme. As we grow and have to look to other suppliers, we will look to source suppliers that meet our animal welfare standards. This is super important to us.
Where can people buy Biltong from?
www.embersnacks.com – get signed up to a subscription for 1,2,3 or 4 weeks. Its an epic way to keep healthy snacks on your desk vs. that venture out for a meal deal + a bag of mintrels at lunch! If not, try amazon – the reviews on Amazon say it all!
Disclaimer: Please note that I received Ember Biltong for free to review it. However, all comments and opinions in this article are my own.
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