A few years ago I came across an article on pemmican - a traditional food that originated in the Americas by the native people. It consists of dried meat (sort of like a jerky), some fat, and a dried fruit (usually cranberries and the like). This food was so important that there was a war over it in Canada in the times of Hudson's Bay Company and their heyday of trade. A single ration was said to sustain a man marching for 36 hours and was kept in his pack only to be eaten by order of his commanding officer. It was able to stay good without rotting for a decade (or more, in some cases). Arctic explorers owed their survival (and the lives of their dogs) to it.
Have you heard of it? Most likely, no. Does it sound delicious? But have you tried it? Well, then, don't knock it (yet).
I was quite fascinated with it because of it's history, but did not have enough bravery stored up to actively seek some out and try it. It sounded...well, kinda gross. I kept it preciously tucked in the back of my mind as a subject of interest, but let it fall asleep.
And then I saw some in the health food store last week. Oh buddy. It's game time.
I picked it up and said, "No way! Pemmican!" I had to buy it. Would I like it? I've never had buffalo before, so I wasn't sure, but I have eaten a jillion gallons of venison in my life, so I felt enough prepared for such a thing. I brought it home to share with my hubby so we could have a pemmican experience together (and also if I didn't like it, I was quite sure he would pretty much eat anything).
The results? Dude, pemmican is awesome! It tasted good. It was kind of a smoky flavor with occasional pops of sweetness. Maybe you are gagging right now, I am not sure, but I can tell you that when I read about it initially, it sounded like gag barfo. I can tell you I would eat it as a snack willingly and frequently. In fact, I brought one to the Detroit Institute of Arts this week just in case I needed to march for 36 hours or something (or just in case I got swept up into the Modiglianis again). I hate beef jerky and venison jerky, so if you're worried that it will be like that, nope, I don't think so. I mean, I guess it's sorta in the family of it, but it actually tastes good, whereas jerky tastes like chewy hard salty nitrates of death. (And really, who wants pancreatic cancer?)
I would show you a picture of the actual pemmican bar, but I ate it, so I can't. Sorry. I kept the wrapper for you? It was good.
So, the moral of the story is that you should go check out some pemmican. Don't be afraid. Be brave. Wear your big girl (boy) panties (er, no, boys should not be wearing those, let's go with boxers, or at least boxer briefs on this one - adios whitey tighties) and man up.
You'll be glad you did. Anyway, it's probably on your bucket list, so double win. And if it isn't, well...what kind of bucket list do you have, anyway (weirdo)?
Peace, love, and buffalo meat,