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Pemmican

Discussion in 'Lovely Grub' started by Gagnrad, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. Gagnrad

    Gagnrad Forager

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  2. AJB

    AJB Native

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    Great link thank you. I've never seen it in real life or heard anyone say how you acctually eat the stuff, so how do...?
     
  3. Husky

    Husky Nomad

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  4. Gagnrad

    Gagnrad Forager

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    How you like, I guess. Historically, it was a travel food, and it was all you ate. You literally ate it by itself.

    The beauty of it was both that it was a complete food by itself—and also lightweight. It's about as concentrated as you can get, being essentially dried lean meat plus fat. Back in those days Europeans reckoned on salted meat and biscuit as travel food. But that's really too heavy to move with—and after awhile you get sick on it, too. Scurvy's the big enemy on that diet—as happened to sailors on long voyages. Pemmican supplies sufficient vitamin C, and other nutrients, for people to be healthy on it. The Stefansson book has much more on it.

    Here's the direct download link to the PDF of it:

    Link
     
  5. Andy BB

    Andy BB Full Member

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    Interesting, though, reading through lots of Pemmican info, that its crucial to get your fat from grass-fed animals (in most cases that'll be cows!). If you don't, and get your fat from grain-fed cows, then you lose the "complete" nutrition element.
     
  6. treadlightly

    treadlightly Full Member

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    Very interesting. Is it made commercially in the Uk??
     
  7. rik_uk3

    rik_uk3 Banned

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    It's pretty grim stuff really or the I stuff tasted was. Its more pleasant than eating butter in terms of getting fat into your system. Vit C is there but is reliant on the fruit/berry content. Mostly eaten stewed with other stuff such as biscuits http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoosh.

    Canned corned beef is not a bad substitute certainly for the UK, quite a high fat content, peanut butter is not far off pemmican for fat content. Never to be looked upon as a complete food in terms of your bodies requirements, its not.
     
  8. Gagnrad

    Gagnrad Forager

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    No, actually that's not true. Berries, such as saskatoons, were sometimes added, but that seems to have been for flavouring and possibly to appeal to the European palate. It's not certain that was ever done by North American Indians pre-contact, although it may have been. The berries don't really do anything for the nutrition and were usually omitted. Read your Stefansson.

    Nothing like it.

    Which, is not the point at all. The point of pemmican was that a man could do heavy work on it, and only it, for months and be healthy. The same is not true of other concentrated foods, whatever their "fat content". Again: read Stefansson. This is a matter of science and historical fact. There was the equivalent of a billion-dollar industry today—i.e., the fur trade—running on this stuff, because of the specific properties it has.
     
  9. rik_uk3

    rik_uk3 Banned

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    Sorry I had no idea that meat and fat and other base ingredients contained vit C the last time I looked pemmican provided only 2 or 3% of your daily needs, hence it did not keep scurvy away on longer trips and that cold weather explorers often developed scurvy when living on a pemmican based diet.

    Corned beef is a fine substitute for UK camping high in fat,tasts better as does peanut butter. Read more than one source on pemmican and its qualities, some differ from your guy.
     
  10. Andy BB

    Andy BB Full Member

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    As I understood it, the vitamin C content was dependent on whether the cow/moose etc was grain-fed or grass-fed - with grass-fed supplying all the necessary goodies, whereas grain-fed ....didn't.
     
  11. max whitlock

    max whitlock Full Member

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    #11 max whitlock, Apr 19, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  12. Mahikan

    Mahikan Tenderfoot

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    I come from a family (Cree) that made and used pemmican predominantly. My cousins are also Inuit and their primary source of vit c was from seal and whale blubber, our primary winter source of vit c came from moose and other wild animals (some trees as well). There are many many different ways of preparing pemmican (oekanuk it is sometimes called by us) and my Kokhum (grandmother) made several different types of pemmican. Some types of pemmican are quite tasty while others may not be so palatable to some taste buds.

    Some of our family recipes did not include fat rendering really, in fact the most common thing we used was the marrow from the bones, then the bones were broken to pieces and then boiled, the fat would accumulate on the top and we'd skim it off and add it to the mix. We used many different types of berries, and to answer the questions above, yes they were added for nutrient content (they were sun dried and crushed) but also it was a good way of preserving them as a food source as well. The meat was also sun dried and ground up as was everything else and then mixed into what we called a tareaux.

    A bit of a recipe for those interested (sorry it's not quite exact, but close enough I think)

    Meat (moose and caribou are excellent if you can get them) sliced thinly and traditionally dried (if possible but slow oven drying or food dehydrator works ok to). Smoke dried with alder is a great taste.
    Berries - also sun dried
    Marrow (if possible) or fat from the animal (then you will need to render it)

    Mixed together and put into green rawhide.

    I also have a link of a site close to our Metis settlement that makes Pemmican similar to the recipe above if anyone wants it.
     
  13. Gagnrad

    Gagnrad Forager

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    This is such a fine piece of arrogance. You're "sorry" which means actually you're not and you think you know without researching the matter or at least reading the supporting material that I did link.

    How do you think Nansen and Johanassen managed when over-wintering on a remote island with only meat (fat and lean) to eat after the dash for the Pole?

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Farthest-North-Fridtjof-Nansen/dp/1602392374/

    Scott's men would still have been alive if he'd taken notice of Nansen's experience and of the experience of native peoples. Instead he listened to the superstitions of the European medical men of the day, who unfortunately were going on guesswork not experience. What you must have is fresh food. Freshly-killed undercooked meat, which is what Nansen (and Amundsen after) used, is fine.

    How do you think the Eskimo and Canadian Indians managed for millenia in a climate where nothing much grows for months at a time and what there is is buried under snow and ice?

    Link

    And the fur trade. Here was, as I said, the equivalent of a a billion-dollar business today running on the basis of pemmican. That's what the voyageurs portering the furs out and doing harder work than you or I have ever dreamed of were living on for months at a time. But, of course, you don't need to take account of that, because you know better even though your claim is counter to historical fact.

    It's fine for camping. It's not just the same as pemmican, which was what you were ignorantly implying in your previous post. It's not made withs specific proportions of fat to lean; it's treated with "corns" of curing salt (hence the name); it's cooked.
     
    #13 Gagnrad, Apr 20, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  14. Rabbitsmacker

    Rabbitsmacker Settler

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    bit harsh with the reply to rik there mate imho, i think he was just relaying some easy alternatives for the less strenuous activity of bushcrafting in the uk. lets face it, unless doing pen y fan naked with a 100lbs on your back in the depths of winter you're not going to come close to burning or needing to burn the types of calories that you would in a polar expedition dressed in burberry's finest.

    anyway, back to the op, the articles on the pemmican are very good, and mahikan has some detailed users knowledge, but what i really want to know is...does it actually taste ok? or does it taste like the dripping from a sunday roast, which i understand some love with bread, but i just can't imagine eating a lot of it without getting a bout of ibs! whats it like?:
     
  15. Husky

    Husky Nomad

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    The explorers webb link in my previous post seems to require membership but as I recall Bruce Parrys expedition it tasted terrible. Also, as the other link says, Amundsen experimented in a rather scientific way with adding vegetables and roughage as the original recepie lacked some nutrients. I recall that this was duplicated with the Parry expedition were the norwegian team had som veggies in theirs but the brittish team did not. Subsequently the brittish team also lost a considerably higher amount af body mass compared to the norwegian team but as this pemican was made from salami and palm oil it is not the same stuff as "Ye olde".
    Does anyone have any good links about the use by furtraders and tha HBC? How long did they actually eat nothing but pemmican?
     
  16. Rabbitsmacker

    Rabbitsmacker Settler

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    i saw the bruce parry thing, bloody hell that aged him! they were amaciated afterwards, very shocking, even my missus watched that, but i think its more because she fancies 'a bit o' bruce' and wanted to make sure he got thru it ok! lol i remember they said it wasn't pleasant to eat, but mahikan and his family like many over hundreds of years in that area have eaten it, does it all tatse bad?
     
  17. Husky

    Husky Nomad

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    I think that we are so unused to high fat content that we simply dont like it. 100 years ago all loggers and forestworkers wanted "american bacon" that had more fat than meat simply because they worked so hard they needed it.
     
  18. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    Fat bacon used to be considered the best of stuff. A layer of fat two inches thick with tiny slivers of pink meat through it.

    Interesting info on the adrenal glands; I had wondered how they managed Vitamin C. I knew that it was possible to eat the contents of the digestive system since that was plant material in a form that humans could actually make use of, but knowing that we can't store Vitamin C, I had wondered how they got enough of it on a restricted diet.

    Thank you for the links :)

    cheers,
    Toddy
     
  19. rik_uk3

    rik_uk3 Banned

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    I've read 'Farthest North' its a wonderful read and I've linked/referenced it here several times. Amundsen did in fact suffer from scurvy when away from base and without access to items such as loganberry's and blubber/seal meat. Some of his team were in a poor state of health with scurvy after one extended trip and analysis of his sledging diet suggests the same would have happened if in fact his trip had been delayed; weather and good dog teams saved him from this fate. Scott's team had been eating a lot of fresh pony meat on the out journey and some on the inward journey which boosted their systems and in fact scurvy did in not in any way lead to his death. Read http://www.amazon.co.uk/Captain-Sco...=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1303292963&sr=1-1 for more information. What really killed Scott was the worst weather known at the time which caused delay after delay and a shortage of fuel from leaking paraffin tins; had the weather been typical he would have lost the race to the pole but in all likelyhood he would have survived.

    Corned beef? its still a good UK substitute for UK conditions IMO, offering a good energy base and is versatile.

    Its worth reading works by Fiennes and Stroud who go into Arctic/Antarctic diets in detail, it makes interesting reading.
     
  20. mountainm

    mountainm Full Member

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    I like Spag Bol made with corned beef, good for camping as none of the ingredients spoil (they can all be tinned, dried etc.)

    Thread HiJack

    Sorry

    Back to the serious death illness explorer stuff.
     

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