Many South Africans will be planning to travel south as the winter approaches. The good News is though that you don't have to travel too far south to get a taste of South Africa. Just take the m23 south from London and head towards Newhaven (near Brighton).
Here in what seems like a typical English seaside resort you will find Larry Susman, ex Johannesburg (Northview High), the man who had to convince the UK health authorities that hanging meat up to dry is not a barbaric health hazard, but rather an art known as Biltong making.
Using old family recipes and made in small batches, Susmans Best Beef Biltong Company has been making biltong tin the UK for about seventeen years and today stocks many delicatessens and exclusive department stores including Selfridges and Harrods with South Africa's favourite snack Larry Susman comments, "Our Biltong is traditionally made, where possible, using a 150 year old family recipe. We use only Scotch meat which is the best in the world for our Beef and Game biltong. The meat is firstly spiced and cured for 24 hours and is then hung in machines to dry slowly for up to three weeks. This process can be speeded up but tends to Change the taste of Biltong making it slightly bland."
Susmans Best Biltong Factory has recently opened a new showroom and now invites customers to come and visit and enjoy the taste and smell of home.
The bright, spotless shop in front of Susman's biltong factory will soon warm any homesick South African. South African flags (old and new) are draped from the ceiling and a large bowl of assorted types of biltong and droëwors stand on the counter with a sign saying please taste me. Baskets filled with Chocolate logs, Pepper mint Crisps, Lunch Bars and Tex beckon from the top of the display racks. Who could resist. The display fridges are lined with Ceres fruit juice (all flavours), Liquifruit, packs of fresh boerewors and smoked salmon. The shelves are representative of Ouma Rusks, Provita, Tennis biscuit. Mielie Meel, Steers Monkeygland Sauce, Meebos, Maltabella, Koo jams, Milo, Spray and Cook, Peri-Peri oil, Rooibosch and Five Roses Tea, there is very little that an ex South African would crave that Susman doesn't stock. And if there is you can always order it and he will ship it to England with the next consignment.
So why crave anything you used to have at home when all you need to do it go out and buy it. Or simpler still just call Larry and he'll deliver it (at no extra cost if you're based in central London.)
Susman's factory shop is based at Unit A, Rich Industrial Estate, Avis Way Newhaven East Sussex, Tel: 01273 516160