Babylonstoren Meat

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Babylonstoren recently won the trophy for the best South African meat product at the 2022 awards, so we were curious to learn their secrets.

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We asked the team to tell us about this company:

Please tell us when your company was founded, and some of its history.

This historic fruit and wine farm dates back to 1692 and has one of the best-preserved plaaswerwe (farmyards) in the Wastern Cape (area in South Africa). It was authentically reimagined by its current owners more than a decade ago to celebrate the history – and future.

Today, Babylonstoren is cherished for its magnificent formal garden, inspired by the historic Company’s Garden in Cape Town that supplied the spice fleets sailing between Europe and Asia with fresh fruit and vegetables in the 17th and 18th centuries. Each of the 300-plus plant varieties of the garden is edible or has medicinal value. The garden boasts a living library of historic rose and fruit cultivars, a splendid succulent collection, a kitchen garden planted with a variety of seasonal vegetables, thousands of clivias, a healing garden, exotic cycad collection and Spice House where tropical plants thrive. Every single aspect of Babylonstoren – including the contemporary Farm Hotel and Garden Spa, the Farm Shop, Winery, Meat Room, farm-to-fork restaurants, Scented Room and Bakery – is led by the ever-changing tapestry and botanical diversity of the garden.

What are the unique features of your butchery?

We believe that the best meat and charcuterie comes not only from processing techniques and curing, but also from the origin of meats used. To this end, we have our own prised herd of Chianina cattle at Babylonstoren. Our small herd of Chianina cattle is farm-reared and fed entirely on a grass diet on the farm and contains no hormones or antibiotics. Our butchery specifically focus on Chianina meat and the ageing thereof.

The meat of Chianina cattle is dense with natural fat marbling and has a thin outer coating of fat, which helps to extend the ageing process. Our Chianina meats are aged between 28 and 42 days in our own Himalayan salt room lined with pink salt tiles.

Another unique aspect of the Babylonstoren way is that we host workshops on making and curing your own charcuterie at home. We open our butchery to other meat enthusiasts and freely share Babylonstoren’s delicious charcuterie techniques and recipes to those who want to learn. From mixing spices and pickling pork for charcuterie, after which guests are invited to indulge in a delicious meat lover’s lunch. The workshops are always fully booked, and new charcuterie workshops for 2023 have already been scheduled.


What do you think are some of the unique meat products you have?

Our Chianina Bresaola, Chianina salami, Coppa, Coriander ham (which also won the trophy for best meat product at this year’s awards!) and well as the Fattoria Ham are all exceptional products of which we’re very proud.

Other noteworthy meat delicacies from our Meat Room include our new lamb espetada, made from lamb rump that’s skewered to ensure an even and effortless braai experience. We’re also working on unique new products for the upcoming festive season, which includes a range of quality water buffalo products (including the most delicious water buffalo wors!)

Please tell us what is unique about your manufacturing process, and your manufacturing philosophy.

As with everything on the farm, our butchery team believes in honouring products in their most natural form. This means our manufacturing process may take longer, but the end-results are always of a superior quality. All our meat comes into the butchery as a whole carcass on the bone and is cured on our premises by our trusted blockmen and –women. As far as possible, we source all our fresh ingredients from the farm. “The carcasses have much more meat and much less fat than other breeds I’ve worked with,” says Jaco Koegelenberg, Babylonstoren’s butcher about the Chianina meat. “Being a butcher is all about appreciating the carcass you’re given and putting thought into how you’re going to use every single part.”

What do you think is your distinct advantage or reason for your success?

The farm and our privilege to be able to rear our own cattle is a major element in ensuring quality products to our clients.

What consumer feedback are you getting?

Customer feedback we’ve received is that you definitely can’t go into your local supermarket and buy yourself Babylonstoren’s Chianina meat. It’s been described by many as the tastiest type of beef they’ve ever tasted. All a Chianina steak needs is a quick tap on a hot grill. Which is exactly the treatment it gets at Babel, Babylonstoren’s signature restaurant.

How do you see your company or product on the global stage?

Although we only service our local South African market, we like to include flavours and techniques from across the globe in our charcuterie, especially. “We borrow some of their techniques and make it our own using local ingredients,” says Selvyn Jacobs, charcuterie whizz at Babylonstoren.

We also love showing our own traditional recipes to the many international visitors who frequent the farm and South Africa. Offering an international guests their first taste of real South African biltong or droëwors gives us great pleasure, and we like to think that our own South African cured meat delicacies measure up very well to the charcuterie of the world.

Please tell us if you have any innovations in the pipeline for the future.

At Babylonstoren, we strive to always learn and grow and improve our offerings. We’re already working on a few exciting creations for the upcoming festive season, including a delicious tri-colour crusted pepper fillet, as well as a hosting hamper containing many of our Aurora award-winning charcuterie.

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Contact Number: +27 (0)21 863 3852