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This is what people have been writing about Real Pemmican!

“Dude this stuff is awesome!! I would like to order 10 more bars. If it’s possible I’ll need them before the 28th of this month. Let me know if you think that would be possible. ” – 5/8/16 – Grand Forks, ND

“Shipping via priority mail was fast; I received my order within a few days of placing it. The product itself is a pleasing balance of subtle flavors. I may be insensitive to sweets, but I found the honey, fig and cherry flavors to be quite mild, well balanced, and complementary to the meat and fats. Having had traditional protein-fat-only pemmican in the past, I’d say this product is more of a complete meal in a bar. Can’t speak to my energy levels since I’m saving most of my order for an upcoming trip, but I’m confident this will be a better alternative to standard nut-based energy bars.” – 5/1/2016 – Alexandria, VA

“First time trying pemmican and I gotta say after this I’m no longer afraid of it. Flavor wise I think it needs a little something more. It’s by no means bad, but I’m a super taster and I think maybe a little more sweet or a little more salt. I’m not to sure, but a little more something could really set it off. For survival alone, it’s on point. The sweet is subtle. The smell is familiar, I can smell the honey but I can’t quite put my finger on the other scents. Smells like something I’ve had before, but I can’t remember what it was. It did OK in transit. It’s already pretty hot down here in west TN and these samples have started to get a tad bit too soft. They’ve stiffened back up now that they are inside though. Overall it’s some pretty darn good stuff and with a few tweaks it could easily be amazing stuff.” – 5/21/16 – Memphis – TN

“Shipment was great! Very fast and the pemmican is totally alright to eat. It’s a travel food! I’m not so keen on the sweetness. If you want just beef and tallow, this isn’t the best option. If you want the beef and tallow and some fruity sweetness, this is right on the money! I’m getting used to the sweetness and the 6 oz brick is lasting me throughout the week. Great communication with the seller. Even while sweet, at 1oz a day it’s not going to throw off the sugar count too much. I’m trying to keep it under 20 a day so brings the sugar carbs (other carbs not included) to about 5 a day.” – 4/19/2016 – Lancaster, PA

In response to the the review suggesting “a little something more” we really don’t want to add more salt that could make people more thirsty in situations where they only have the water they can carry. More sweet would further discourage people on ketogenic diets from trying the product. We think the best solution is to add more sour cherries and reduce the amount of figs so the proportion of fruit in the final product remains the same. We were a little too conservative with the sour cherries in the initial product since these little things pack a serious punch and can easily over power the other flavors. Preliminary taste tests demonstrate that a little more cherry in the mix helps to enhance the over all flavor without throwing it out of balance. We’ll let you know when the extra cherry flavor becomes available for purchase.

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What is real pemmican?

What are the fundamental characteristics and properties of actual, authentic pemmican as prepared in North America for millennia?  There are many variations but what do they all have in common that they can be called pemmican as opposed to products that are similar but differ in one or more of the fundamentals?

There are generally 2 main distinctions to be made:

  1. Ingredients used.
  2. How those ingredients are processed.

Traditionally pemmican has been made with red meat and fat from the same animal.  Most commonly it was made with American bison but other wild red meat can be used as well as beef.

Other ingredients often included dried berries and sometimes nuts or honey.  Europeans started adding salt that was not used traditionally by native Americans in any of their cuisine whatsoever.  A little salt should not detract from the properties that make real pemmican such a valuable provision.

The meat used is dried completely, it’s not left soft like jerky.  It should not be heated to a high enough temperature to destroy the enzymes present in raw meat that help to make pemmican so nutritious. The meat is then ground into a powdery consistency, neither too coarse nor too fine.

The animal fat is rendered in such a way as to completely remove all trace of water.  The melted fat is then mixed with the dry ingredients and allowed to cool in pans, moulds or even buffalo hide bags as was done traditionally on the plains.  This is definitely a high fat food, high in saturated fat, and contrary to popular pseudo-science can be consumed in relatively high amounts to take advantage of it’s caloric density and time release energy. (“New Science Destroys the Saturated Fat Myth”)

Almost all water is removed from the ingredients in order to create an extremely shelf stable product, some say it would even last for years without refrigeration, though that refers mainly to pemmican made with only meat and fat.  The addition of other ingredients like dried fruit and nuts will greatly decrease the shelf life of pemmican kept at room temperature but it can still keep fresh for a number of weeks especially if it’s vacuum sealed.  If taken on expedition into cold environments then it’s not an issue and this kind of pemmican can be kept frozen for many months until you’re ready to take it on your next journey.

When made in the traditional way pemmican is a real super food.  There are historical accounts of people surviving on little to nothing else for years and still finding it tasty and satisfying after many months.  Again this may refer more to plain meat and fat pemmicans though a pemmican high in fruit and nuts is still a superior snack and meal replacement than any normal energy or protein bars.  Some newly invented bars with meat have come on to the market recently but they use cooked meat and none of them have the high saturated animal fat content of real, traditional pemmican.

Choose your food wisely!  There has been a monumental amount of research and writing in the field of nutrition over the last few decades, much of it misleading and even just plain wrong.  We think it’s time to focus more on traditional cuisine that has stood the test of time and kept people fed and healthy for millennia.