Small Business Spotlight: Ayoba-Yo

I did my first round of Whole30 in March 2017. On April 1, 2017, I went to the Emporiyum in Baltimore. That's where I met Wian with Ayoba-Yo Meat Co. I remember he told me that the products are similar to beef jerky, but that they contain zero sugar. I replied, "where have you been the last month of my life?"

The reason I was so excited to discover Droewors and Biltong is because I couldn't find beef jerky without added sugar during my entire round 1 of Whole30. I remember searching through labels of jerky and always finding "sugar" or "evaporated cane sugar" and becoming frustrated. The reason beef jerky usually contains sugar is because it's cooked at a low temperature and the sugar is added to soften the texture.

Biltong is more tender than beef jerky, almost comparable to prosciutto, but is similar in the sense that it's portable. It starts out as a slab of beef that's spiced, marinated and air dried for over 14 days. The not-so-secret ingredient is coriander, which gives it a unique taste that's standard for this South African-style jerky. 

Droewors are handcrafted, air-dried sausages or beef sticks. They are made with a unique blend of spices, but without sugar or artificial flavors. They don't contain artificial preservatives, nitrates for MSG, and they're gluten-free. A 2 oz bag contains over 30 grams of protein and zero grams of carbs and sugar.

Wian's family is actually from South Africa, and they started making Biltong and Droewors as a hobby on the weekends after they moved to the US. They had tried American jerky, but really missed what they were used to back home. Encouraged by grateful taste testers, the business was born. Wian handles the operations and sales, but it's a family affair. I was able to meet Wian's parents at a brewery tasting in Northern Virginia and his brother at the Natural Products Expo. It was great to see everyone roll up their sleeves while sharing their story and products with pride.

I prefer Droewors in the morning, on a ski lift or while driving (less spice = less mess). Biltong is my go-to when I'm looking to add more protein to a salad or with my eggs for breakfast. Spicy Biltong tastes delicious when wrapped around dates. It sounds weird, but it's so good! 

Biltong, Spicy Biltong and Droewors are on sale at Whole Foods in DC/MD/VA through 1/16! You're also welcomed to order them directly through Ayoba-Yo and use the code PACELOVEFOOD for 10% off. 

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